Feb bike exports dip 10%

Written by Yogima Seth | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 25 2009, 05:35am hrs
The global economic downturn has now impacted the export of two wheelers from India. Falling demand of motorcycles in developed countries in Latin America has resulted in a decline of over 9% in export of two wheelers from the country in February. This, incidentally, is the first dip this financial year.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, total export of two-wheelers from India came down from 80,550 units in February last year to 72,510 units in February this year, a dip of 9.98%.

Bajaj Auto, the largest exporter of two-wheelers from India, posted a decline of 18.83% in exports at 41,312 units in February this year, compared to 50,894 units in February 2008. Hero Honda registered a decline of 36.86% in exports at 6,177 units, vis--vis 9,783 units in February last year. Even India Yamaha Motor posted a 41.34% dip in exports at 2,357 units, as compared to 4,018 units during the same month last year.

The global downturn started showing its impact on the Indian economy since December. Since public transport in developed countries is good, people are preferring it over having their own vehicles, said Sanjay Tripathi, division head (product planning), India Yamaha Motor.

According to Tripathi, the company had exported 50,000 bikes in 2008. This year, it is looking at lower number, around 30,000-35,000.

Apart from the low off take because of the credit squeeze, a lot of clearance of the inventory is happening now. Consequently, after 10 months of healthy growth, two-wheeler exports have come down in February, said Abdul Majeed, auto analyst and partner, Price Waterhouse. He added that the next six months will be difficult for all players.

Anticipating good demand around Christmas and New Year, dealers across the globe had build up stocks in October and November. Consequently, exports from India grew by 51.16% in November last year, the highest in this financial year, at 89,245 units as compared to 59,041 units in November 2007.

The February export numbers are a reflection of the lag effect, after the huge inventory build up at the dealer level in overseas markets, explained Vaishali Jajoo, senior auto analyst, Angel Broking.