Malaysia eyes India’s rubber automotive parts market

NEW DELHI – Malaysia, the world’s fourth largest natural rubber producer, now aims to sell rubber automotive parts in India’s vibrant automotive segment.

Malaysian exporters are trying to squeeze into India’s already congested market, but are confident their quality products have an edge to penetrate the busy sector.

“The best option for us is to explore the possibilities of supplying to Indian suppliers who supply to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Directly may not be possible. Another option is the replacement market, where the real potential is. There is great opportunity in India for Malaysian producers,” Serajudin Ismail, chief executive officer of Malaysian Consortium of Rubber Products Sdn Bhd, said.

Industry analysts forecast passenger car sales alone to hit a healthy 11% to 13% growth this year, after a blip late last year due to high interest rates, rising fuel prices and domestic inflation.

In India, with the world’s seventh largest automotive industry, 159,325 cars were sold last December, and 2011’s total sales touched 1.95 million vehicles. In 2010 India imported rubber-based automotive parts worth nearly US$356 million (RM1.13 B), with Malaysian exporters grabbing roughly 2% of the market share – making Malaysia the 11th largest foreign supplier.“We need to expose Malaysia to Indian suppliers on Malaysia’s capabilities in producing rubber auto parts.“The perception among Malaysian producers is always that India is a difficult market because of high tariffs.“But with CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement), there is more opportunity to enter and compete,” said Low Yoke Kiew, Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council’s director of marketing and development.

Four Malaysian automotive products manufacturers participated in the just-concluded 11th Auto Expo held from Jan 7 to 11 in Delhi.

Source: The Star