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NEW DELHI : Passenger vehicle shipments from India rose last month for the first time post COVID-19 pandemic, pointing towards demand recovery in some of the major export markets for Indian automakers.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, passenger vehicle exports rose by 1.15% to 37,187 units in January compared to 36,765 units in January 2020.

In April-January, passenger vehicle shipments were still down by 43.1% at 3,28,360 units as against 5,77,036 units in the same period of 2019-20 financial year.

"While exports of passenger vehicles for the Apr-Jan 2021 period is down by 43.1%, the growth of 1.15% in January 2021 over the previous year, makes it the first month of growth in passenger vehicle exports, post the pandemic," SIAM Director General Rajesh Menon told PTI.

Economic recovery in the export markets will be critical for revival of exports and continuity in growth momentum, he noted.

In January, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) led the segment with export of 12,345 units, up 29.92%. It was followed by Hyundai Motor India which shipped 8,100 units last month, down 19% from the same month last year.

Nissan Motor India exported 4,198 units in January, followed by Kia Motors and Ford India with 3,618 and 2,983 units respectively.

During the April-January period this fiscal, Hyundai is leading the segment with dispatch of 82,121 units, down 47.01% from the year-ago period.

Maruti has shipped 72,166 units in the period under review, down 15.55% as compared with April-January period of 2019-20 fiscal.

Ford India (42,758), Kia Motors (32,138), General Motors India (28,619), Volkswagen India (28,368) and Nissan (21,938) were the other major passenger vehicle exporters from the country during the current fiscal so far.

In the domestic market, passenger vehicle wholesales increased by 11.14 per cent to 2,76,554 units last month as compared with 2,48,840 units in January 2020.

In the April-January period, the segment sales stood at 20,54,428 units, down 13.2 per cent from 20,54,428 units in the same period of the 2019-20 fiscal.

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