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Rays of recovery - Indian auto exports beat China

Suzuki Motor Cor, Hyundai Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co are making India a hub for overseas sales of mini cars as incentives lift demand for smaller, fuel efficient autos. Helped by cheaper labor and a surging local market, India this year overtook China in auto exports and is challenging Thailand and South Korea as an alternative production center in Asia.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, Maruti Suzuki sold a monthly record 14,847 vehicles overseas in August. India’s exports of mini cars and hatchbacks gained by 44% between January and July to 201,138. Total exports, including vans, sport utility vehicles and trucks rose by18% to 229,809. Cars are exported to over 100 countries and don’t include the US or Japan.

Mr RC Bhargava said that Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s exports more than doubled to 79,860 this year. It aims to ship 130,000 vehicles in the year to March, 86% more than last year. According to government data, in contrast, China’s exports slumped 60% to 164,800 between January and July. Vehicles produced in Thailand for export declined 43% to 263,768.

Mr Jayesh Shroff who helps manage about USD 7 billion of assets including carmaker shares at SBI Asset Management Co in Mumbai said that “There is a worldwide shift toward fuel-efficient, compact cars. This offers a huge potential for India and it can emerge as a leader in the small car segment.”

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