Indian automotive OEM industry exports crossed the $US1 billion mark during fiscal year 2003-04. The export growth was seen throughout the product spectrum with passenger cars, commercial vehicle and two-wheeler exports all registering two-digit growth.

Passenger car exports registered a growth of nearly 80% with 129,316 cars exported in FY 2003-04. This growth came due to the big numbers registered by the big three – Maruti Udyog, Hyundai India and Tata Motors.

Maruti Udyog’s exports surged due to the demand for the Suzuki Alto in Europe – Maruti is the sole production base. Similarly Hyundai India registered good export numbers on account of the Santro Xing / Atos Prime as production of the small car was shifted to India from Korea, India being the sole production hub, from now on, for the Santro Xing.

This fiscal year should be even better as Hyundai increases plant capacity to match export demand.

Tata, too, saw export volumes climbing thanks to its deal with MG Rover which will see it supplying 100,000 Indica cars, to be sold as City Rovers, over the next five years. While export volumes were not exceptionally high this year due to the late start, Tata is expected to supply nearly 40,000 cars in FY 2004-05.

On the commercial vehicle front, the export efforts of Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland saw total CV exports reaching 17,227, an increase of more than 40% year on year.

Indian motorcycle manufacturers exported 264,669 units in FY 2003-04, an increase of 47% over last year. This year should see Bajaj Auto, TVS Motors and Kinetic starting their own offshore facilities.

The Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM) has forecast an increase of 10-15% in exports.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup