BMW may localise the production of Mini range in India to offer competitive pricing

Tuesday 17 July 2012, 10:13 AM by

The iconic British car marque, Mini has been a rage among the Indian motor aficionados ever since its introduction at 2012 Auto Expo held in New Delhi. The whole range of Mini has gathered quite a fan following in the country and is desired by many car lovers. Despite being immensely popular in India, spotting one of these on the Indian roads is a rarity, which makes one wonder at the dearth of Mini models in the country.

BMW may localise the production of Mini range in India to offer competitive pricing  | CarTrade.com
BMW may localise the production of Mini range in India to offer competitive pric

The reason behind this is that the Indian subsidiary of the German car manufacturer, BMW brings the MINI Cooper range here via Completely Built Unit (CBU) route. These cars attract heavy import duties as they are imported in the country from England (since the 4-door Countryman is manufactured in Austria). More than 100 per cent tariff is being levied on the CBUs as of now, which doubles the price of the car. This is the reason why the cheapest variant in the Mini range, the Standard Cooper still costs Rs. 26.15 lacs. On the other hand, the performance oriented Cooper S comes with a tag of Rs. 29.30 lacs and the convertible variant is even costlier at Rs. 31.5 lacs. However, the flagship model in the range, 4-door Countryman is available for steep price of Rs. 33.6 lacs.

These high price tags further dampen the scope of the Mini range in terms of sales. And the competition is bound to get tougher with the arrival of other retro-classics and hatchbacks like the new Volkswagen Beetle, Mercedes Benz A-class and the Audi A3. As a solution, BMW is considering the possibilities to localise the manufacturing process of the entire Mini range completely to offer competitive pricing. The Chennai plant of the German car maker, which assembles the X1, 3-Series and 5-Series presently can produce the Mini range as well. Keeping in mind the popularity of the Mini range in India, it is a must for the company to take this step as it will also help it gain market share in one of the fastest growing automotive industries in the world.