To the rejoice of many, BMW Motorrad is finally entering the country in April this year, and will be starting operations in five Indian cities, according to a report on Zigwheels. BMW Motorrad had been attempting to begin India operations since a long time. The G310 R was showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo along with plans of the brand to officially enter the India market but things haven't moved since then. The German manufacturer will now be setting up showrooms at Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. However, the G310 R will not be launched in India yet, as the brand seems to be struggling to get the prices at more competitive levels for the Indian market. The G310 R is the most affordable motorcycle in BMW's product line up, and is planned to be built by TVS Motors at its Hosur facility.
BMW is expected to bring in motorcycles with higher displacement in India to start with, such as the F800GS, 1200GS, S1000RR, S1000R, R nineT and K 1600 GTL. BMW motorcycles are likely to be CBU units, and so far there hasn't been any announcement by the company to express interest in local assembly in the short or medium-term. After analysing market trends and customer response to BMW motorcycles, the brand may consider assembling units in India in the long-term though, which could be at least four years away.
The BMW G310R has been one of the most awaited motorcycles in India and was expected to launch in April, 2017. It is being jointly built at TVS' Hosur manufacturing plant unit from where it was to be exported to international markets. The launch delay, however, suggests that BMW is faced with a problem of bringing the prices down to a competitive level for India.
Highlighting the extent of the issue is the fact that TVS could launch the Akula 310 before the BMW G310 R, despite it being based on the G310 R. For TVS, it is easier to keep prices low as the company has a well established local network of suppliers, whereas for BMW it will quite a task to compete with prices of KTM or TVS. KTM too benefits significantly from the local supplier network of Bajaj, owing to which the Autrian motorcycles are priced lower than the competition despite having more features in general. The German manufacturer also plans to export units from the India plant to international markets and hence the brand needs to come up with a balance between keeping prices low and maintaining quality soon.