BMW Mini Only In Two Cities

Saturday 12 April 2008, 00:00 AM by Satish

BMW has been planning to bring its model BMW Mini to India. Although, confirmed plans for the launch of the car are yet not final, however, it is likely to introduce the car in only two cities of India initially. This means that only Delhi and Mumbai would have dealership outlets in India.

“If we would launch the Mini in India, (it) would be only in two markets—specifically Delhi and Mumbai,” said Peter Kronschnabl, president of BMW’s local unit. “These are, by potential, the biggest markets for this brand,” which is “a small car in terms of size but a luxury car in terms of price.”

The economic growth in India has witnessed rise in number of Indian millionaires. Moreover, India has become more brand savvy and there has been a spur in buying wealth symbols in India. Moreover, Delhi and Mumbai account for nearly 20% of India’s passenger car sales.

BMW shall import the car as completely built units. It currently manufactures its 3 series and 5 series at its Chennai plant. However, it does not have any plans to manufacture Mini as it expects sales in ‘low hundreds’.

We are not considering local assembly at the moment,” said Kronschnabl. If the vehicle is assembled locally, “the price would come down by 30%, then it would be Rs15-16 lakh, but we would not sell substantial numbers and the investment would not justify local assembly.”

Currently, import of kits attracts to only 10% duty as compared to 110% on fully imported cars that makes local assembly more viable for any auto car maker if it sells in volumes.