According to government data, India exported cars worth Rs 897.11 crore in 2002-03, a jump of 114.47% over the previous year's exports of Rs 418.28 crore. “This fiscal we are expecting exports of one lakh cars,” comments Jagdish Khattar, President, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Managing Director, Maruti Udyog.
With lower cost of operations and availability of trained manpower, India is emerging as a sourcing hub for global auto makers. According to data compiled by SIAM, 2.98 lakh vehicles were shipped during April-December 2003 over 1.89 lakh units in the same period the year before.
Hyundai, which ships Santro to Europe as Atos Prime, registered a colossal 329.7% rise. Scaling up its target, the firm plans to increase its exports to 65,000 cars in 2004, going up to 80,000 cars in 2006. Ultimately, it hopes to export one-third of its total production. The company has started work on increasing its capacity from 120,000 units a year to 250,000.
Rival Maruti Udyog expects to exceed its export target of 40,000 units in 2003-04 by a significant margin and clock 56.25% year-on-year growth in overseas sales. The company, which sold 32,000 vehicles outside India in 2002-03, had set a target of 25% growth in exports this year. The firm has already exported 40,000 vehicles in the first nine months of this fiscal, and expects to sell 50,000 units overseas by March-end 2004.
Meanwhile, Tata Motors exported 15,008 cars during April-December 2003, while it was 6,147 during the same period last year, a 150% growth in exports. “We have done very well on the export front,” says Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Motors. The company has inked a deal with British firm Rover to export 100,000 units of its Indica model over the next five years. “We have shipped 5,000 Rovers to the U.K., which will be seen on the English roads in a few weeks,” confirms Tata.
“This is perhaps the first time that an Indian-engineered automobile is going overseas, and will actually be used by an upscale European manufacturer with its badge. The Rover retains all the attributes of the Indica, while introducing into the car characteristics that are unique to Rover and therefore suited to that brand and the driving environment in the U.K. It will be available in the U.K. and later in continental Europe through the Rover dealer network,” he continues.