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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Etios, Figo, Ertiga: Made in India, bestsellers abroad

South Africa is favourite, but auto makers are looking to expand into more markets as overseas revenues offset currency fluctuation losses, Sumant Banerji reports.

autos Updated: Jul 16, 2012 08:08 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times

Three cars made exclusively in India are making great waves in their respective export markets. The Toyota Etios, the Japanese car major’s cheapest car worldwide, is finding many takers in South Africa, where it is being exported from India. Giving it company is an American car also made exclusively in India, the Ford Figo that was the sixth largest selling car in the country in 2011.

Similarly, Maruti’s Ertiga has quickly found its way to the top 5 in Indonesia, South East Asia’s largest car market.

The Etios debuted as the seventh largest selling car in the market in May, and has inched its way up to 4th by June. With average sales of a little over 2,000 units a month, it is widely expected to grow further and take the pole position eventually. Buoyed by its success, Toyota now plans to export the Etios to Brazil as well, from September.

“The car has received a good response in the South African market and we hope to sell 20,000 units of the vehicle in this financial year,” said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (marketing and sales), Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. “Etios is currently made only in India and exported from here as a completely built unit. We do intend to export kits from here for Brazil, where it would be assembled from September."

Etios’ success in South Africa was preceded by Ford Figo, which was the first Indian car to really crack the world market. Ford’s India-centric small car is a favourite among South Africans and a regular top 10 contender. In 2011, over 15,000 Figos were exported from India, making it the sixth largest selling car. It was the eighth-largest selling car in June.

Another stellar performer overseas has been the Maruti Ertiga. The first completely indigenously designed car by Maruti is a big hit in Indonesia — the only market where it is being exported at present. Ertiga has emerged the fifth-largest selling car in the last two months and is competing well with leaders like Toyota Avanza and Innova. Maruti is now exploring other export destinations for the vehicle.

“Ertiga was designed keeping in mind the needs of emerging markets and it has been well received in Indonesia,” said IV Rao, chief operating officer (engineering), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. “The concept of the vehicle was designed entirely in India. It is also only being produced here.”

Some other made-in-India cars exported in large numbers include the Hyundai i10 and the Nissan Micra. Around 6 lakh units of the i10 have been exported to around 120 countries around the world in the last five years, while around 1.5 lakh units of the Micra have been shipped overseas in the last two years.

Besides bragging rights, the exports help these companies offset some of the adverse impact of rupee appreciation that makes imports expensive and exports lucrative.

First Published: Jul 15, 2012 20:50 IST

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