Nissan India has had steady export operations ever since they set up shop in 2010 and the company has managed to overtake Maruti Suzuki becoming the second largest car exporter in the country, with the top spot captured by Hyundai. The Indian automotive market is certainly not in the best of health currently and most manufacturers have witnessed plunging sales. The saving grace comes with car exports that contribute to marginal growth of most companies and continue to maintain momentum in the domestic market. Nissan India has done more car exports than Maruti Suzuki in the past two months.
In a period from April 2013 – to January 2014; Nissan exported a total of 94,931 units, while exports from Maruti stood at 79,945 units. A major reason for Maruti’s decline in exports has been the change in the homologation norms of the Algerian market. Adding to that, several African countries have signed a preferential import duty agreement with European companies imposing non-tariff barriers. Now, imports into Algeria from European Union (EU) attract a duty of 9 percent as against 15 percent from India. The situation is similar in other key markets like Egypt where imports from India are charged at 40 percent compared to 20 percent for the EU.
Nissan has been proactive in its export operations and managed to export 3 lakh passenger vehicles within 3 years of operations. The company exports its compact cars from India including the Micra hatchback and Sunny sedan from its Oragadam plant in Chennai. Nissan is anticipating a rise in exports in the next two years with the addition of Datsun. The company plans to export car parts of Datsun vehicles to other emerging markets where the brand will make a debut soon. Nissan also exports a number of child parts, engine and body parts to over 14 countries from India which include big markets like the UK, Brazil, Mexico and USA. The company is eyeing the top spot in exports by 2016.
In spite of the slowdown, the exports have seen an overall growth of 7 percent, significantly driven by growth in exports of utility vehicles. During the past ten months of the fiscal year, the total exports stood at 4,91,882 units with car exports contributing 4,60,711 units. The largest exporter Hyundai had the largest share with 2.04 lakh units during the same period. The recent change has also threatened India’s positioning as a global export hub; considering many manufacturers have made India as a manufacturing hub for small cars and want to capitalise on exports during the domestic downturn while also taking advantage of the weakened rupee.