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BMW doubts viability of launching Mini in India

BMW doubts viability of launching Mini in India
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First Published: Thu, Jul 09 2009. 02 48 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jul 09 2009. 02 48 PM IST
Kolkata: Luxury car maker BMW is sceptical of the viability of launching another brand ‘Mini’ in the country, a company official said.
BMW India Private Limited president, Peter Kronschnabi said, “We doubt whether the Mini launch will be viable in India. We have postponed the decision till the end of this year,” he told reporters here today.
He said that bringing in Mini, a three-door luxury hatchback as a CBU in India, would entail a price tag of Rs20 lakh. There may not be a market for that segment here. “We do not want to kill a brand,” he said.
Talking about the sales performance of BMW in the first half of 2009, Kronschnabi said that the company had sold 1747 cars in India. The sales target for the full year is 3000 units for the country, he said.
While the luxury car segment has grown between 1-2% in India in the first half of the year, BMW has beaten this growth rate of the industry .
“The first half was challenging. The second half has more potential,” Kronschnabi said.
In 2008 the company sold 2908 vehicles.
Saying that BMW was the market leader in the luxury car segment, Kronschnabi added that the company would aggressively launch products in order to expand their market in India.
It has lined up a slew of launches in 2009 like the new BMW 7 series, the new BMW 3 series, and a diesel variant of BMW X3.
To strengthen the dealership network BMW will set up dealerships in 10 more cities by the end of 2010. Presently, there are 13 dealerships in the country.
The company has invested $30 million in India, including setting up a plant in Chennai.
Kronschnabi said that the plant was operating on a single shift and has a capacity of 3000 units per year.
When asked whether the company would add additional shifts to handle more demand, he said that no decision had been taken so far.
BMW today launched the BMW X6, a sports activity coupe in the city.
The company is in the process of signing a contract for global supplies of parts like castings and forgings.
The size of the luxury car segment in India in 2008 was 7400 units.
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First Published: Thu, Jul 09 2009. 02 48 PM IST
More Topics: BMW | Peter Kronschnabi | Mini | India | Market |