The country’s largest automobile manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India has signed an agreement with Chennai-based Kamarajar Port Limited, to export 20,000 passenger vehicles across Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, ASEAN, Oceania and SAARC region, the company says in a statement on Thursday. With this, Kamarajar Port has become the fourth port, after Mumbai Port, Mundra Port and Pipavav Port, which will be used by the automobile manufacturer for the export of its vehicles globally. 

Hisashi Takeuchi, managing director and chief executive officer of Maruti Suzuki India says, “Maruti Suzuki is dedicated to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India. Our expanding export operations reflect our commitment to offer reliable, high-quality, technologically advanced cars to our global customers. The start of exports from the Kamarajar Port will help us reach out to a wider base of customers. This initiative will also help to decongest the Mumbai Port, Mundra Port and Pipavav Port used by the Company to export vehicles at present.”

Kamarajar port will also be used for pre-delivery inspection and shipment of the Maruti Suzuki’s Grand Vitara units, which will be manufactured at Toyota Kirloskar Motors Bidadi plant in Karnataka.  

Sunil Paliwal, CMD, Kamarajar Port Limited, says, “We are glad to enter into an agreement with India’s leading passenger vehicle manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, to offer our port services for the export of vehicles to regions across the globe. Maruti Suzuki has earned the distinction of being a major contributor to exports from India, and associating with the Company will help us augment our operations as well. We hope to make this collaboration a success and contribute to India’s economy.”

Kamarajar Port has been named the 12th major port of India and can park 14,000 cars. The company says that all vehicles are checked and cleaned before being uploaded for shipment. 

In FY 2021-22, Maruti Suzuki exported more than 2.38 lakh units to over 100 countries. This is the highest-ever export by the company. 

Following the development, Maruti Suzuki stock surged 0.20% at ₹8,364 in the afternoon trade. On Thursday, the share price of Maruti Suzuki India opened a tad higher at ₹8,355, as against the closing price of the previous session at ₹8,348. 

The company is also mulling a short-term ramp-up of capacity at its plant in Manesar, in Haryana, to meet demand. The ramp-up—which could be realised by April 2024—is expected to act as a stopgap measure until its newest facility at Kharkhoda, near Sonipat, is ready for production. Maruti holds about 40% of the market share in India's passenger vehicle market. 

In November this year, the company sold a total of 1,32,395 passenger vehicles in the domestic market as compared to 1,09,726 sold in November 2021, thus registering a 20.6% YoY increase. The company exported 19,738 vehicles in November 2022 as compared to 21,393 in the same period last year.

The development comes at a time when the automobile manufacturer has announced a price hike across its entire range of vehicles starting January 2023 without revealing the percentage of this increase. The company has said it continues to see increased cost pressure driven by overall inflation and recent changes in rules by the government. 

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