Passenger car market leader Maruti Suzuki India, which wrested the India-made PV export crown from Hyundai Motor India in fiscal 2022 with 235,670 units, has taken a strong lead in the first five months of fiscal 2023.

The company, which currently has a strong order book in India and a backlog of 417,000 units, shipped 110,372 units between April and August 2022, registering 28% year-on-year growth. With seven months left in FY2023, the carmaker at this stage has reached 47% of FY22 exports at 235,670 units, its all-time best.

Maruti Suzuki continues to achieve its best export results from the premium hatchback Baleno, which along with the Celerio achieved combined figures of 57,250 units (up 23%). The SUV duo of the Jimny and Brezza SUVs were the best in terms of percentage growth with 24,493 units (up 56%). The entry-level Alto and S-Presso grew by 15% y-o-y at 21,729 units, while the Ciaz at 3,803 units (up 56%) and the Ertiga/S-Cross at 2,913 (up 17%) also saw gains. However, export demand for the Eeco van fell by 66% to 158 units.

Hyundai is delivering fewer Cretas and Venues than it did a year ago
Hyundai Motor India which was #1 exporter in FY2020 when he took the crown at Ford India as well as at 2021 fiscal year, when it overtook the hard-charging Maruti Suzuki by just 9,404 units, it will have to catch up nicely to beat Maruti in the export game this financial year. Between April and August 2022, Hyundai exported 60,571 units, an increase of 12% compared to the same period last year.

While the trio of Aura, i1o and i10 exported 28,931 units (up 6%), the Verna was a strong growth driver at 15,491 units (up 47%). The Alcazar premium SUV has 3,052 units exported (up 1,140% from last year’s low of 246 units). However, Creta and Venue exports declined, with the Creta at 11,141 units down 13% YoY and the Venue at 1,956 units down 42%.

Seltos caters to Kia India’s overseas deliveries
At No. 3 is Kia India with 37,630 units, up 91% (August 2021: 19,661). The Seltos mid-size SUV, Kia’s long-standing bestseller in India, is also the most popular export model with 20,539 units (up 71%), followed by the Sonet compact SUV at 14,701 units (up 92%).

Meanwhile, Nissan Motor India exported a total of 21,275 units between April and August, with the Sunny sedan accounting for 18,982 units (up 101%) or 91% of total exports. The company also shipped 2,743 Magnite SUVs (up 18%). Nissan India’s export performance outperforms domestic sales at 14,706 units in April-August 2022. In late July, the company recorded a key export milestone: shipment of its millionth car manufactured at the Renault-Nissan Automotive India plant in Chennai. The export path to the million mark took a little less than 12 years.

Renault Motor India, ranked fifth in exports at 12,518 units, up 80% YoY, saw demand for the Kiger/Triber SUVs grow 100% YoY to 7,892 units, while the Kwid hatchback saw an increase of 4,626 units by 55% y/y.

The City sedan continues to power Honda Cars India’s exports, with the City accounting for 94% of total deliveries of 10,993 units (10,345 units / 107% growth).

FY 2023 will be a good export year
Maruti Suzuki’s excellent export performance can be attributed to the fact that the company is able to procure a larger number of semiconductor chips that are specific to its export models than those that power its domestic cars sold in India. Most of these chips are associated with electronic components such as a car’s ECU.

Cumulative exports from 16 car manufacturers for April-August 2022 stood at 269,069 units, up 17% year-on-year (April-August 2021: 230,598), according to industry body SIAM. With the domestic PV market firing on all cylinders, most OEMs are putting their manufacturing arm to the test to produce what they can. If some of them are doing their export business right, it is all the more commendable considering that the margins on export products are quite good, if not profitable.

A clear proof of this is the production figures: these 16 OEMs together produced a total of 1,755,071 units, 00% more than the 1,400,776 units in April-August 2021. Maruti Suzuki produced a total of 790,174 units, up 23% (April-August 2021: 640,443), while Hyundai produced 296,100, up 14% yoy, and Kia produced 146,188 units in at its Anantapur plant, up 57% YoY.

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