India is fast emerging as an automotive hub for many carmakers. They are setting up base in India not just for the domestic market, but also to export cars from here to service the South East Asian as well as European markets.
Automakers benefit from lower labour costs, government subsidies and access to a large component base making it easy to sell cars from India, and also the domestic market is growing as well. So much so, that for some carmakers, their Indian market share is miniscule, whereas the cars are topping the sales charts in other countries. Also read: India’s most-exported cars
Here’s a look at cars that are not that great in India, but are global sales busters.
The Nissan Micra is hardly seen on Indian roads, as sales are very limited, at about 1,500 units a month on average. Yet, it is one of the largest exporter of cars. The Nissan Micra that was manufactured in India has sold over 1 lakh units in the past one year. All the Micras are produced at the company’s plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, which it shares with Renault. The company has just doubled its combined capacity to 400,000 units. Domestic sales of The Micra were only about 18,000 units over the year. The Micra’s primary market is Europe – countries such as Italy, France and Belgium, as well as Latin American markets. The company exports the Micra to over 100 countries now! Also read: Upcoming Nissan cars for 2013
The Nissan Sunny is the second most-exported model from the company after the Micra. The Sunny is a well-accepted mid-size sedan model that shares its platform with the Micra – the Nissan V platform. In the domestic market the Sunny has been averaging sales of about 2,500 units a month, and is doing slightly more in the export market. Exports are primarily of the petrol variant, to the same markets that the Micra operates in. Also read: Nissan Sunny special edition launched
Renault / Dacia Duster
Sister company Renault has started exporting the Renault Duster from India. The company has shipped about 20,000 units for the UK market and it has been well accepted there. It is branded as the Dacia Duster. All Dusters for right-hand drive countries will go from India. The Duster is priced at just 8,995 pounds in the UK market, making it one of the cheapest SUVs one can buy, and it also features 4×4 variants (which may soon be launched in the domestic market as well). Also read: Renault begins Duster export under Dacia brand
The Maruti A-Star is one of the largest selling cars outside of India. In India, it is hardly selling, with sales staying at just about 1000 units in the past couple of months. Considering, the Maruti Alto, a car the A-Star has replaced in global markets sells over 26,000 units a month, the A-Star hasn’t been lucky in India. But in Europe, it is one of the largest selling cars (it is branded as the Alto there). The A-Star is also known as the Suzuki Celerio in some markets, and is also marketed by Nissan as the Pixo in a few other countries. Maruti says the A-Star is now sold in 125 countries across five continents. The A-Star has sold over 360,000 units in the past four years abroad. Also read: Maruti launches limited-edition A-Star Aktiv
Other cars that are popular on the export charts from India are the Ford Figo which now sells cars in South Africa and 20 other countries, all of which are made in India. The Figo exports about 3,000 odd cars each month. Mahindra and Tata too are big on exports. Mahindra’s Thar is now one of the best-selling off-roaders in South Africa as well as in some European markets. Mahindra’s pick up version of the Scorpio (the Getaway) is sold in South America and Australia as well, although not the best-seller in those markets, it’s doing fairly well. Tata sells the Telcoline pickup in Europe and Africa (what we know here as the Tata Xenon).