BMW India, which in 2022 posted the highest-ever car sales in its history — with 11,981 cars sold (11,268 BMW brand and 713 MINI) — is confident that 2023 will be another record year.
Vikram Pawah, president, BMW Group India, told FE that the brand will launch 16 cars and two motorcycles in 2023, adding that there is increasing customer interest in its five electrified models, and all its existing cars continue to be in high demand.
“All of this gives us confidence that 2023 will be another record year for us in sales, across BMW, MINI and Motorrad brands,” he said. “Our products continue to be in high demand, and most BMW models now have a waiting period of up to six months.”
As of now, BMW India has 2,500 pending orders of BMW cars, 250 pending orders of MINI cars, and 1,500 pending orders of Motorrad motorcycles. The Motorrad is the motorcycle arm of BMW.
In 2022, BMW India was the country’s second-largest premium carmaker, after Mercedes-Benz (15,822 cars sold). BMW India was considerably ahead of the third placed Audi (4,187 cars). In addition, it sold 7,282 motorcycles in 2022.
While there are fears of a global recession impacting the Indian economy, Pawah said it is unlikely to negatively impact car sales.
“At BMW, for instance, we have 4,250 pending orders, and the demand is increasing,” he said. “The Indian economy, I think, will be able to negate any global recessionary trends, because of its intrinsic strengths.”
On Saturday, BMW India launched the third-generation X1 in petrol and diesel variants. It is produced at the BMW Group plant in Chennai, and customer deliveries of the X1 sDrive18d M Sport (diesel) will start from March and that of the X1 sDrive18i xLine (petrol) from June. The petrol variant is priced at `45.9 lakh and the diesel variant at `47.9 lakh (ex-showroom). It competes with Mercedes-Benz GLA (`46.5 lakh) and Audi Q3 (`44.9 lakh).
“The X1 remains the best-seller in its segment thanks to a supreme combination of comfort and luxury,” Pawah said. “It’s the most agile luxury sports activity vehicle.”
First launched in 2010, BMW India has sold more than 22,000 units of this entry-level premium SUV. “Among other things, the X1 has expanded the premium car segment, and a lot of those 22,000 buyers were first-time BMW customers,” Pawah said.