With most Indian car buyers switching to a safer diesel section, car makers are making frantic efforts at balancing costs and sales. Maruti Suzuki, undoubtedly one of the India’s top most car sellers is now planning on exporting it’s gasoline vehicles abroad, to Africa in particular. The customers have shown preference to buying diesel cars and the petrol car segment was hit. Exporting the gasoline cars would try to mitigate the exchange risks. The plan is to widen the company’s offerings to the countries it is currently exporting to and also to try out newer markets.

Increasing their exports will help Maruti to offset the costs of importing components from abroad as the Rupee rate weakened to close to 19 percent in the last one year. Algeria and Indonesia are primary target markets. While the Dzire was launched in Algeria last month, Maruti’s popular hatchbacks 800 and Alto already sell in the country. The Ertiga is assembled in Indonesia itself and therefore sold there.

It’s not just Maruti that has taken the initiative. Car makers such as Hyundai Motor Co.’s India unit shipped 237,535 vehicles overseas, 38 percent of its local output, in the year ended March 31, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers while Maruti dispatched 127,372 cars, and Nissan Motor Co.’slocal unit exported 100,909 units. Perhaps, this is a right move that most of the automajors are taking and will to some extent help them to counter the declining gasoline car sales.

Source – Bloomberg

– Rohit Nair