BMW to launch India-made Gran Turismo, X5 SUV

Written by fe Bureau | Chennai | Updated: Mar 12 2014, 19:08pm hrs
BMW X5BMW is planning to make its mid-size luxury SUV X5 locally in its Chennai plant to take on Mercedes M-Class.
Taken aback by a sharp drop in its India sales in 2013, a year when its two competitors grew sharply in the 40,000-units-per-annum luxury car segment, BMW India has shifted focus to complete localisation (totally indigenous manufacturing) for all its products sold in India. The company is also looking at entering the used car business in India.

The company has tweaked its strategy towards sustainable and profitable growth in India rather than just look at numbers, and will introduce two more India-made products GT as well X5 (SUV) in calendar year 2014 said Robert Frittrang, managing director, BMW India, which runs the manufacturing plant in Chennai.

"Nearly 95% of cars sold in India are produced locally. As part our recent global strategy, BMW India has decided to produce more cars locally than import them as CBUs and sell them locally. To sustain and make profitable growth, and to be price-competitive, its wise to make cars locally without compromising on quality."

"We have drawn a strategy on country-specific products to attract a particular segment of customers, including in India..." Frittrang said.

"We will be launching BMW GT (Gran Turismo) soon, which will be followed by the X5 the mid-size luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the third quarter. X5 is the world's largest-selling SUV and we plan to make it locally in our Chennai plant to take on Mercedes' M-Class. M-Class has been doing tremendously well and BMW cannot afford to miss the opportunity. We will offer the same kind of luxury experience to our customers."