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Indian utility vehicles on an overseas ride

Business Standard:  May 18, 2016

New Delhi: The popularity of Indian utility vehicles (UVs) is not just limited to the domestic market. These vehicles are finding more and more takers overseas too. Exports of passenger cars have declined for two consecutive years with a total drop of over 3% between FY14 and FY16. Shipments of UVs, however, saw a sustained increase and jumped by a staggering 173% between these two years.

India exports almost one-fifth of the 3.4 million passenger vehicles (cars, UVs and vans) it manufactures in a year. Utility vehicles formed a mere 7% of passenger vehicle exports in FY14. It rose to 12.4% in the following year and is now a significant 18% of total exports. From a mere 43,433 units in FY14, India exported 1,18,721 units of utility vehicles in FY16. In the same period, the share of UVs in the domestic market has remained stable at 21%. 

Export in this segment is dominated by Ford and Hyundai. Interestingly, 70% of the UV export is done by Ford alone (EcoSport). EcoSport exports surged 51% last year to 83,325 units. For Ford, which is the fourth-largest exporter, EcoSport brings 75% of export volumes. Manufactured at Ford's Chennai plant, EcoSport is shipped to various markets in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. 

Hyundai, the biggest exporter of passenger vehicles from India, shipped over 19,000 units of Creta, the UV it launched in July last year. The Korean car maker had not exported any UV in the previous year. 

"Hyundai's increasing export of Creta showcases the global trend of increasing customer preference for compact SUVs as a disruptive product over MPVs and mid-sized sedans. These are being sought due to their ability to meet the rising aspirations and needs of customers in urban and rural markets who seek bold styling, powerful engines, comfort and low cost of ownership," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (sales and marketing) at Hyundai. 

Country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki exported over 8,400 UVs, mostly Ertiga. Its UV export volumes, however, declined from close to 10,500 shipped in FY15. M&M, the largest UV player in the country, shipped nearly 5,600 units last year, showing a marginal increase over FY15. 

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.