Six months ago, Hyundai Motor India wrested the No. 1 made-in-India passenger vehicle (PV) exporter title from Ford India for FY2020. With total shipments of 169,861 units (4.78% / FY2019: 162,105), the Korean carmaker raced ahead with a comfortable lead of 38,002 units over Ford India, which despatched 131,476 units (-19.24%) to overseas markets. It may be recollected that Hyundai missed being India's top PV exporter in FY2019 by a whisker – of all 696 units! Ford India had first unseated Hyundai, the longstanding PV export leader in FY2018.
Six months later, Hyundai is still in the lead, albeit a minuscule one, but not over Ford India. The No.2 PV exporter in the April-September 2020 period or first-half FY2021 is Maruti Suzuki India, having relegated the American carmaker to third place.
In H1 FY2021, Hyundai Motor India shipped a total of 32,041 units, just 492 units ahead of a hard-charging Maruti Suzuki with 31,549 units. Ford India, with 26,089 units is in third place. While GM India, which runs an export-only operation at its Talegaon plant, is at No. 4 with 16,630 units, the newest kid on the block – Kia Motors India – is already in fifth place with 16,606 units. Importantly, Kia is only 4,831 units behind its FY2020 total export tally of 21,461 units. Expect that to be crossed in October, if not November.
Volkswagen India retains its sixth position it had in FY2020 in H1 FY2021 with total exports of 15,492 units, followed by Nissan Motor India which has 7,176 units to its name but has slipped from fourth place in FY2020 to seventh in the April-September 2020 period.
FCA India, interestingly, is doing well on the export front, having jumped four ranks to be at No.8 with 2,922 units. In FY2020, it was 12th with a total of 3,773 units.
Ford EcoSport remains most exported model, Kia Seltos is No. 2
Although Ford India has slipped from No. 2 to third position, it has not lost its numero uno status when it comes to the most exported passenger vehicle model. In FY2020, the EcoSport with 88,429 units (-3.40%) was the mainstay of Ford India’s exports, accounting for 67.25% of its total PV exports. In H1 FY2021, with 21,414 units, the EcoSport is well ahead of the new No. 2 – Kia Motors India's midsized SUV, the Seltos which saw sales of 16,568 units. Kia also exported 38 units of the recently-launched Sonet compact SUV. The Korean carmaker is bullish on exports of the Sonet and is targeting 50,000 units in its first year.
The surging demand for SUVs worldwide is indicative in the Top 10 exported model table listed above. Seven of these models are all SUVs.
Global impact of Covid-19
Look at the table below and Covid-19’s disruptive impact on the export performance of nearly all 17 PV OEMs can easily be gleaned. Total PV exports of 155,156 units in the April-September 2020 period are down 57% year on year (April-September 2019: 365,282 units / 4.38%). The global disruption in the global automotive supply chain, manufacturing operations and sales, from April through to June, meant that export demand slackened considerably.
The pandemic-induced lack of demand from overseas markets has hit the top three exporters, who together account for 58% of total exports in H1 FY2021, but see their numbers down from between 40-70% YoY.
However, as September 2020 export numbers (39,146 units / -36%) reveal, the month-on-month rate of decline is slowing, which would be heartening news for OEMs in India, who are currently engaged in ensuring their dealerships across the country are well stocked to cater to demand in the upcoming festive season.