Two-wheeler, three-wheeler export hit a record high in April-June period


A sharp uptick in exports came as a boon for Indian two-wheeler and three-wheeler makers last quarter amid localised lockdowns imposed by state governments to check the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus.

The proportion of exports in overall two-wheeler and three-wheeler production reached record levels at 33% and 85%, respectively, between April and June 2021, show data available with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). While exports of two-wheelers more than tripled to 1.4 million units last quarter, those of three-wheelers more than doubled to 137,582 units in the period. Exports had accounted for 18% and 64% of production in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments, respectively, in the last financial year.

Industry stakeholders said even though the global shortage of containers is putting pressure on automakers exporting from India, export volumes are expected to help support operations in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments near-term. As against average two wheeler exports of 3.2-3.5 million a year, at the current pace, overseas shipments may hit a record of 4.5 million if those markets do not witness major disruptions.

“With state governments in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra permitting automakers to execute export orders, Bajaj Auto and recorded major gains in export volumes in the three months to June,” said a top industry executive.

Bajaj Auto, which dominates exports of two-wheelers out of the country, saw export volumes more than double to 556,753 units last quarter, up from 213,948 units in the year-ago period. The company accounted for nearly half of two-wheeler exports last quarter. In the three-wheeler segment too, Bajaj’s exports rose to 90,499 units in Q1FY22, from 37,495 units registered in the same period last fiscal.

“It was our second highest quarter for exports with almost 650,000 units. And this is despite the fact that we have faced headwinds in our key markets of Philippines, Cambodia and Nepal, all because of Covid. If the containers were available and the markets came back, then we are looking at even better export performance”, Rakesh Sharma, executive director at Bajaj Auto, told ET.

In exports also, the mix is changing in favour of some higher-end bikes. Sharma added, “We have introduced some higher-end bikes in more prosperous African countries like Egypt. Pulsars are now selling substantial volumes in Egypt, otherwise it was basically a South Asia and Lat-Am phenomenon.”

Meanwhile, TVS Motor Company saw two-wheeler exports grow four-fold to 289,818 units last quarter, from 69,544 units in the year-ago period. Three-wheeler export volumes went up more than three times to 38,287 units in the same period.

“TVS Motor Company’s international two-wheeler business achieved a sales milestone of 100,000 units recently, and the demand continues to be robust”, said a spokesperson at TVS Motor Company in response to a query from ET. The company is witnessing strong demand from the Middle East and recovery in traditional markets in South Asia, West Africa and Latin America.

The company too said it is seeing a positive shift to premiumisation in all key markets. TVS expects products such as TVS Apache, TVS NTORQ 125, TVS Jupiter ZX and Grande series to continue to do well in both domestic and international markets

The spokesperson added, “Across global markets, there are opportunities to create safe, personal transportation which will drive the business going forward… Investments in technology and the future of mobility will be important for us in the next phase of our growth and transformation.”

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