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Brand India makes a mark on global car market

Multinational car manufacturers are using their Indian facilities to cater to the international market, report Deepak Joshi and Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2007 20:09 IST

The 'Made-in-India' brand has made significant inroads in the global car marquee. Multinational car manufacturers are using their Indian facilities to cater to the international market.

The growing presence of Indian cars worldwide is clearly visible from the fact that 1,48,781 units were exported in the first nine months (April to December) of the current financial year, a 13.97 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2005, according to the latest data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Leading the pack is Hyundai Motors India Ltd the Indian arm of the South Korean conglomerate, which exported 87,819 units between April and December 2006, a growth of 14.68 per cent over the 76,571 units sold in the same period during 2005.

Hyundai has announced plans to use its Chennai factory to meet the demand for Santro world-wide. The company is setting up a new facility close to its existing plant to raise its total capacity to 6 lakh units annually. Hyundai hopes to export nearly half of them in coming years.

Curiously domestic industry leader Maruti Udyog Ltd has seen a drop in its overseas market to 23,967 units in the nine months, compared to 25,755 units in the last financial year's corresponding period. But that has not deterred it from drawing up equally ambitious plans to be a global player.

"We plan to export 2.5 lakh cars by 2010. A car targeted at the European market will be unveiled by 2008-09 and we hope to export 1 lakh units,” Maruti managing director Jagdish Khattar stated while unveiling Swift diesel this week.

Ford India Pvt Ltd does not have a big domestic presence. It still exported 20,894 units in April-December 2006, a growth of 86.83 per cent over 11,183 units in the same period in 2005.

Tata Motors plans to be a major player overseas, however, suffered a setback with the company selling 11,517 units in nine months of the current financial year, a drop from 12,891 units in April-December 2005.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told captains of industry on Thursday that India Inc needs to take advantage of an increasingly globalised market economy in Russia by exporting “non-traditional” goods, which included cars.

“Russians are not certain whether India can supply non-traditional goods. I urge you to come to the market and prove that Indian goods are second to none," said Putin.

He added that trade in automobiles between the two countries could give a major thrust to bilateral economic cooperation.

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First Published: Jan 26, 2007 20:09 IST