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Auto exports decelerate sharply in January

Auto exports from India have declined for the first time after nearly 14 months of witnessing a steady increase. According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), exports have dipped nearly 19% with 33,909 vehicles being shipped in January 2016 compared to 41,787 units shipped in January 2015.

Industry experts attribute this to change in technical regulations in key export markets like Algeria, Europe and some other countries. Says Sugato Sen, Deputy Director General, SIAM: "Algeria has introduced some changes in technical regulations which have affected us. Sri Lanka has high taxation issues that is proving to be a hindrance for the automakers. Also Europe, which is the biggest market for compact cars from India, is still recovering from a slump."

In 2014-15, Algeria imported passenger vehicles worth $293 million, whereas Sri Lanka ordered units worth $158 million and the UK received shipment worth $335 million.

Sen said Algeria was unlikely to budge from its stance and so Indian manufacturers will have to adjust accordingly.

During January, exports of passenger vehicles, including vans, utility vehicles and cars, declined 6.72 per cent at 42,084 units from 45,114 units a year earlier.

The country's top car exporter Hyundai Motor India recorded a 56.66 per cent drop in exports to 4,335 units from 10,003 units in January 2015.

Similarly, Maruti Suzuki India's exports declined by 36.25 per cent to 6,467 cars compared to 10,145 units in January 2015.

Japanese carmaker Nissan also saw its exports decline 11.29 per cent to 8,892 units last month from 10,024 units during the year-ago period. Toyota Kirloskar Motor's exports of passenger cars declined 56.69 per cent to 738 units, while Volkswagen reported nearly 14.73 per cent decline in shipments to 6,230 cars.