With a well-scaled, synchronized domestic operation, the e-scooter manufacturer now caters to overseas markets
It’s finally looking confident that Bengaluru-based Ather Energy can begin exporting its zero-emission scooters from India after significant delays in its global expansion plans over the past three years. Its strong performance on the domestic market and large manufacturing capacity contribute to that confidence.
In addition to being the No. 3 player in the Indian EV market, the company says that it can cater to exports with an ample manufacturing capacity of 420,000 units at its state-of-the-art plant in Tamil Nadu. International markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Europe consistently show strong interest in Ather Energy.
A week ago, at the ACMA annual convention in New Delhi, Ather Energy’s Chief Business Officer, Ravneet Singh Phokela, told the media that the company’s inbound demand has been strong for some time, but due to the size of the domestic market, the company has resisted it a bit.
Additionally, Phokela said they have prioritized the domestic market because resources and energy are finite. But now they’re looking at international markets instead of firefighting.
As Phokela said, “We might announce something on these lines very soon, and if everything goes according to plan, perhaps in the next few months itself.”
Getting into the Export Markets
The company will likely test the waters in neighboring countries, which are similar to India in terms of demographics and scooter usage patterns.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get to know a market that isn’t too far away from India. Europe is a very different market from a consumer’s perspective as well as from a product’s perspective. Ather’s Chief Business Officer explained that homologation there is a year-long process.
“We intend to start with other markets rather than Europe or North America,” Phokela explained.
Phokela replied, “Generally in the region,” hinting that Ather Energy may begin exporting electronic scooters made in India to Nepal and Bangladesh first.
“The launch process for us will be challenging as we intend to launch as a brand. As opposed to many players (Chinese OEMs), we will not simply enter a new market, place multiple products in a showroom, and begin selling. Phokela stressed that we will not be focused on volume in the short term; we will build a long-term brand.
The company says that while going international won’t initially require much investment, it will only need to raise more capital if it wants to have a local assembly overseas in the future.
Ather Energy: India’s 3rd best-selling EV
Since the FAME II subsidy was reduced by 25 percent, electric two-wheeler sales have rebounded after the June 56% MoM decline and an 11-month low of 45,734 units. In August 2023, there were 62,455 units sold and a month-over-month growth of 14.57 percent (July 2023: 54,508 units). This is ample evidence that India EV Inc. on two wheels is back in action.
Ather Energy is one of 150 market participants whose sales are largely monopolized by the Top 10, representing 494,862 units between January and August 2023, or 90% of total sales. While Ola Electric and TVS Motor Co have sales of over 100,000 units, Ather holds a solid third position with 73,036 units, accounting for 13% of the Indian electric vehicle market share. Ather Energy is among the electric vehicle OEMs taking steps to make financing easier for potential buyers. In July, the company announced 100% on-road financing for its electric two-wheeler, just a month after introducing a 60-month loan product, which means a monthly EMI of just Rs 2,999, compounded with IDFC First Bank, HDFC Bank, Hero FinCorp, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank and Cholamandalam Finance.
Source: Autocar Professional
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