BMW says discounts a danger for brand

Written by Shweta Bhanot Mehrotra | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 26 2013, 07:23am hrs
At a time when everyone in the auto world is busy luring customers with discounts and offers, BMW Group India says it would not discount its models.

Raising concern over the behaviour of its competitors in the country, BMW Group India president Philipp von Sahr said, There are competitors who are offering discounts and getting sales. We see it as a danger for a premium brand. We would not discount and instead create a sustainable business model that stands up for our premium pricing. The company plans to invest in the brand, product and dealership network for steady growth, and looks to have 50 dealers by 2014 from a current 35 dealers.

The confidence also comes from the expanding locally-produced portfolio. By the end of 2013, BMW will have six models produced locally in India. These include the BMW 3 Series, the BMW 5 Series, the new BMW 7 Series, the BMW X1, the BMW X3, the BMW 1 Series and MINI Countryman. The BMW 1 Series will be launched in September this year.

The models will be produced at the companys plant in Chennai with a yearly capacity of 11,000 units. BMW sold 9,375 units in the last calender year.

Indicating that the plant has the capacity to produce these models, Sahr said, The catch is how many different models we can produce out of there.

On Thursday, BMW launched its new 7 Series in Mumbai. The new BMW 7 Series is available in diesel and petrol variants. The deliveries will start from May.

The BMW 730 Ld, a diesel variant, priced at R92.90 lakh (ex-showroom India) will be locally produced.