to convince such a guy than to have a happy 5-Series customer buy it for third time,” von Sahr said.
While the company plans to launch the new Z4 roadster next month, followed by the 3 series GT around the Auto Expo next year, the next big thing would be the launch of the ‘I’ brand of premium electric cars next year which is currently in the works. At present, there are two models shown globally, the i3 electric hatchback that is priced at 35,000 euros (R29 lakhs) and will go on sale next month in Europe and North America, and the i8 hybrid sports car that will hit the roads next year.
“Mr Praful Patel (heavy industries minister) was in Frankfurt recently and drove the i3; he was very excited. BMW has three brands, one is the main range, then sporty is ‘M’ and the innovative line is ‘I’. In ‘I’ we not only have the i3 and i8, but mobility innovation like car sharing. Of course, we will launch the i3 in India, but we will decide on the product line,” he said.
BMW is investing R210 crore by end of 2013 on a new assembly line at its Chennai plant that will not only increase annual capacity from 11,000 to 14,000 units but help it make more models and variants locally. The plant assembles 8 of the 14 variants that BMW and Mini sell in India.