Tata Motors is likely to end its dependence on Saarc nations for export of its heavy-duty trucks and buses as it looks to consolidate its position in West Asia, Africa and Asean with the advent of its Prima and Ultra range of premium trucks.
In the last two years, Tata Motors has started exporting its medium and heavy commercial vehicles to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, besides pickups in Australia. In the first quarter of this financial year, exports of Tata Motors grew 35% y-o-y.
As fully built units of vehicles in foreign countries attract high import duty, the company has opened an assembly plant in Tunisia to cater to countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. The company also has an assembly facility in Nigeria, which has been set up as a joint venture.
Ravindra Pisharody, executive director, commercial vehicles, Tata Motors, said the company is expected to export the super Ace Mint – a small commercial vehicle — to Thailand, and a refresh of Xenon is also expected to be in line for the same destination.
“With products like Ultra and Prima coming in, we do not need to export the traditional products from India. So, our dependence on traditional markets in Saarc like Srilanka and Bangladesh is going to reduce gradually. We have received repeated orders from Saudi Arabia and other Middle-East countries,” added Pisharody.
The company is also looking at Australia as a market to consolidate its position in the pickup segment. Tata Motors is looking to develop automatic transmission in pickups to increase volumes in Australia. According to the company, exports constitute 10-12% of the total revenues of Tata Motors.