Indian small cars running out of fuel in European mkt - 2/12/2010 |
These big automakers saw their exports shoot up 35-40 % in the last few months on the back of incentives offered by Germany, France and the UK to help owners of older cars and vans buy new fuel-efficient vehicles.
Germany, the biggest market in Europe, and Austria have already concluded their scrappage programmes and other countries are expected to wrap up their schemes by December. So, as exports to Europe start declining, Indian carmakers have started looking at non-European markets. “While we are hoping the European countries will announce new schemes to encourage small car exports or the existing schemes in some countries get a further extension, we are simultaneously working with non-European countries too,” said a senior official at a Delhi-based car company.
Till September 30 this year, Maruti Suzuki had exported over 58,500 units, with A-Star accounting for 33,500 units, Nissan Pixo at over 25,000 units and other models contributing about 7,900 units. The country’s largest carmaker has targeted exports of 1.3 lakh units in 2009-10 against 70,023 units in the last fiscal year.
“We are focusing on non-European markets for exports, but once the scrappage incentives are exhausted in Europe, the export numbers are likely to normalise,” said a Maruti-Suzuki spokesperson.
Analysts, however, do not expect Maruti Suzuki’s exports to cross 1.16 lakh units this year as many European countries have withdrawn their scrappage schemes. Of the total targeted exports, Europe would account for 90,000 units and the balance 30,000 units from non-European countries.
Hyundai Motor India (HMIL), the country’s largest car exporter, too benefitted from additional European export orders. More than 50% of our exports are targeted at European countries with Germany accounting for the maximum, said Arvind Saxena, HMIL’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing. The company aims to export about 2.7 lakh units in 2009-10 against 2.45 lakh units last year.
“We are covered for the calendar year as we get advance export orders. The export orders have lowered and we will start seeing the impact,” Mr Saxena said. HMIL exports the i10 and i20 models to Europe.
To qualify for the scrappage benefit, the emission levels in the new car should be below 160 g per km. Germany had created a € 5 billion fund for the old-car scrappage scheme, doling out € 2,500 incentive for a fuel-efficient new car. France had set aside € 220 million, offering € 1,000 and a deferred tax benefit of up to € 5,000 for a new car.
While the UK government had initially created a £300-million corpus under cashfor-clunkers scheme and offered the customer £2,000 for purchasing a new car, it is extending the offer with additional £100-million funding.
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