New Delhi: 23 years after it made its first shipment of 500 vehicles overseas, Maruti Suzuki India’s exports have now crossed the 8 lakh units milestone, with 25% of the overseas sales accounted for by flagship model A-Star.
According to a company official, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has exported a total of eight lakh units since 1987-88, when it started selling cars in other markets.
“Of the total, two lakh units are of A-Star in less than 20 months of starting the overseas shipment of the model,” the official said. MSI’s exports business began on a humble note, with the shipment of just 500 units to Hungary initially.
However, the list of countries has since been expanded and so has the number of units being exported. The Netherlands tops the list, accounting for 84,727 units out of total exports, while Algeria and Italy have imported 75,060 units and 54,273 units, respectively.
UK and Chile stood at 4th and 5th positions in the list of the top buying nations, accounting for 50,916 units and 49,299 units, respectively. Although the company has exported more or less all of its models, its Alto, M800, Zen and A-Star compact cars saw the most demand overseas. Alto is MSI’s best-selling export model, with 2.08 lakh units shipped abroad, while 2.02 lakh M800 units have been sold.
Talking about MSI’s latest export-oriented model, the A-Star, the official said that the company sold 1,27,500 units of the compact in 2009-10, out of total overseas sales of 1,47,575 units.
“Amongst all the regions, in European Union (EU) we exported 1,14,000 A-Stars, while we exported 13,500 to non-EU countries,” he added.
The A-Star was launched in European markets in February, 2009, and the model is now being exported to about 100 countries. In the current fiscal, the company has shipped about 76,000 vehicles so far, out of which about 54,000 units are A-Stars.
“Of this, A-Star exports to Europe are 39,000 and around 15,000 are exported to non-Europe,” the spokesperson said.
Japanese car-maker Nissan sells the A-Star in Europe as Pixo under a contract manufacturing agreement with MSI’s parent company, Suzuki. MSI also markets the A-Star as the Alto in Europe; while in other regions, it is sold as Celerio.