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Rupee fall helps automobile exports

Chennai, Sep 3 () : Rupee fall has helped the automobile sector in August.

Hit by low volumes in India, the export market has come to the rescue. India’s export pack of passenger and two-wheelers posted increases in foreign sales in August.

The second largest car maker,Hyundai Motor India, posted sales of 24,008 units in August, a 29 per cent increase. The company increased overall sales by 11.58 per cent while its domestic sales growth was less than 1 per cent. The demand from non-European markets is very strong.

Maruti exports trebled during the same month to 11,305 units, registering an increase of 181 per cent. India’s largest exporter of three-wheeler and two-wheeler, Bajaj Auto exported 144160 vehicles which is a 10% increase even as the total sales grew only at 9%.

The 20% fall in rupee volume helped to increase sales in African countries and margin is high since Bajaj has not cut prices. Tata Motors which does have an export market reported a decline compared to last year August sales of 23,311 vehicles. This August it sold only 11,564 units.

Maruti like other car-makers feel that the worst is over as the festival season starts and demand will pick up. Rural market of Maruti has grown by 5 per cent this year that accounts for 30 per cent of Maruti’s sales. With a good monsoon and cars priced below the Rs 5 lakh segment, Maruti is expecting to generate 25 per cent sales in the coming months.

The car sales in urban market is not much but the rural markets are helping Maruti move. Maruti which tied up with the State Bank of India is now having sales points in 45,000 villages and is planning to increase to one lakh sales outlets.

SBI is present at all these villages and financing is not a problem. With Maruti being 95% localized, the import bill is not much during the current rupee fall. It depends on import of electronic goods that go into the car as Indian companies are not able to match the standards expected. Those who are importing parts will face a problem with rupee fall.