Since their entry to the subcontinent in 2007, BMW has made no pretences about their interest. Over the years, they have furthered the cause of localisation to ensure they stay competitive vis-a-vis Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Today, BMW locally assembles 8 of their 16 models on offer at their Chennai plant.
That includes the BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, 3 Series Gran Turismo, 5 Series, 7 Series along with SUVs X1, X3 and X5.
With less than ten days to go for the launch of the BMW 5-series, BMW India has announced that they will further their investment by 130 crores bringing the grand total to a stratospheric 1,250 crore rupees.
The additional funds will be used to further BMW already significant footprint in the country. Aside from powering the Motorrad range, part of the money will go BMW financial services, while part will be used to improve their sales network in the sub-continent. BMW already have 41 sales outlets across the length and breadth of the country and have revealed that they intend to bring this figure up to 50 by 2018.
BMW must be fairly confident of their upcoming 5-series, considering that a lot depends on its success. It has been the cornerstone of BMWs portfolio. Especially considering that of the 66,000 vehicles that BMW have sold in India, 30% of them have been from the 5-series. Once it does launch the 5 will have its work cut out for it considering that it will go up against the E-Class, which is the only car in the segment to be offered with a long-wheelbase version.
BMW has been riding a strong wave this year, having sold 3,533 units in the first half of the year. Up to an impressive eight percent since last year.
However BMW officials are clear that their focus is not on the competition, BMW India boss Vikram Pawah said that their focus is to grow the Premium Vehicles Segment in the country and not to take on the immediate competition. This could be PR speak indicative that although the 5-series will not make an LWB variant it will be aggressively priced.
Aside from investments, BMW has also said that the 6-GT will also hit the streets next year and will also go be assembled locally.