BMW India said it will focus on entry-level premium cars to sustain its growth momentum apart from launching a slew of products to overcome the ongoging slowdown in the industry. The Indian arm of the German auto major hinted that it may have to face supply chain problems if the coronavirus continues for some more months. Speaking to FE over the phone during the launch of entry-level premium car new X1 on Thursday, Rudratej Singh, president and CEO, BMW Group India, said, “Though we may have to undergo headwinds due to various reasons, we are confident that we will surpass last year’s (2019) sales of little over 9,600 units in 2020. This could be possible through the launch of new products, including entry-level premium models like the X1, M Coupe series, M8 Series, among other models.”
“To overcome the volatile market conditions, BMW India will keep filling the gaps with new products at regular intervals. Whatever we launched last year proved to be successful for us in not only help achieving decent sales but also gaining some market share in 2019,” he said. To a specific question, he said, “It is an interesting time for us. Whatever we have targeted in first two months of 2020 we could sell. We have an interesting pipeline this year, with a focus on entry-level premium segment. This segment is extremely critical for us to keep growth momentum as it contributes to nearly a third of our business.”
According to him, due to taxation/duties, the company was not able to unlock the global standards of its entry-level products in India. To ensure affordability, almost 95% of the company’s offerings are being produced locally in Chennai except a few CBUs. Singh said the luxury car segment in India has not grown over the decade and BMW has just 1% share of the total PV market in India. The company says there is a huge room for the luxury carmakers to increase their overall share to 4% or 5% in the next few years collectively and it’s confident the same will be achieved. On the challenges ahead, including the coronavirus impact, Singh said, “There could be some impact on the supply chain front, if the existence of coronavirus continues for some more time. Though we are comfortable at this point, we may have to take stock of the situation after a quarter as we have (parent company) some supply chain link with Chinese vendors.
Earlier, giving details on the new X1 entry-level premium car, he said, “The new BMW X1 is segment leading premium compact SAV, globally and in India. Ever since we had launched a decade ago, X1 sales have crossed more than 20,000 units in India. It is critical for us to keep abreast on the entry-level premium segment in India and we keep looking at the gaps to launch new products.”
Locally produced at BMW Group Plant Chennai, the car is available in BS VI diesel and petrol variants at all BMW dealerships across India at a price between Rs 35.90 lakh and Rs 42.90 lakh. According to him, the X1 comes with a special limited period offer starting Rs 15,000 per year. A novel introduction in the segment is a 5 years/60,000 kilometre service and warranty package for the new BMW X1. BMW India Financial Services has introduced an unparalleled 5 year BMW 360 degree financial plan exclusively for customers booking the new BMW X1 in March. The extremely attractive plan includes low monthly payments starting Rs 49,999, assured 5-year buy-back value of `15 lakh and flexible end of term options, he added.
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