The no-holds-barred battle between Ford India and Hyundai Motor India to ship their made-in-India passenger vehicles to overseas markets has ended in the American carmaker taking the title for FY2018. The Korean carmaker was the title holder in FY2017.
Ford India, which has been balancing its slow domestic sales in FY2018 with exports, has managed to perform at its best and achieve the top spot on the exports front. The company, which was running neck and neck with Hyundai Motor India until February 2018, has outperformed the Korean giant and left it behind by a significant margin of 20,232 units to be crowned as the winner of the exports battle. Till end-February 2018, Hyundai was just 14,166 units behind but Ford pressed the pedal to the metal in March to clinch its leader board position.
Ford India’s shipments in March totalled 18,564 units, growing at 15 percent (March 2017: 16,132) and taking its overall exports in FY2018 to 181,148 units to register year-on-year growth of 14.31 percent (April-March 2017: 158,469).
Hyundai Motor India, on the other hand, shipped 12,498 units in March 2018, growing a similar 15.11 percent and ending FY2018 shipments with 160,916 units, down 3.17 percent (FY2017: 167,120). In FY2017, Ford India was the No. 2 behind Hyundai with 158,469 units.
Ford India’s export despatches mainly comprised its two hatchback-based siblings – the second- generation Ford Figo/ KA+ hatchback and the Ford Aspire compact sedan – until October 2017 with a total of 10,815 units being shipped in the month.
However, November 2017 marked a spike in shipments with 19,242 units going out and subsequently, the company clocking its best month performance, shipping 24,708 units in December 2017 and notching 38 percent growth (December 2016: 17,904). This notable increase was on the back of fresh shipments of the refreshed EcoSport to the North American markets, which was introduced in the Indian market in November.
The updated EcoSport, apart from getting a handsome makeover, also received an all-new 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol motor belonging to Ford’s Dragon series in India. The engine, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox is also being exported, to accompany the more popular 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbocharged petrol variant of the crossover abroad.
Apart from the made-in-Chennai EcoSport, the second-generation Ford Figo/ KA+ hatchback and the Ford Aspire compact sedan, both built at its Sanand factory in Gujarat, are exported to more than 50 countries across Europe, Middle-East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and to emerging markets in North America as well as in Australia.
With a good export market response for its third-generation Verna sedan, launched in August, Hyundai Motor India too immediately bagged its largest single order from some Middle-Eastern markets for supply of 10,501 units, which were shipped out in January 2018. Hyundai also saw its highest shipments with 22,741 units coming up in December 2017.
Maruti Suzuki takes third place
Maruti Suzuki India, which has its complete focus lying on the domestic market, took the third spot in the PV exports market in FY2018, shipping out a total of 126,074 units between April-March 2018, and growing 3.3 percent (April-March 2017: 122,039).
The company has done maximum despatches of its Baleno hatchback, which are shipped to the Japanese and the European markets.