BMW drives into India, says demand will double by 2012

BMW drives into India, says demand will double by 2012

Mumbai: BMW India Pvt. Ltd, which inaugurated its first production facility here on 29 March, says the demand for premium cars in India could more than double by 2012, and it may work double shifts to meet the growing demand.

The company’s production unit is capable of making 1,700 cars. BMW estimates the market for premium cars will grow to 10,000 units by 2012, from 4,000 units last year.

BMW will make the 3-series car, 320i, which is priced at about Rs26.7 lakh, and variants of its 5-series cars, priced between Rs37 lakh and Rs42 lakh. The Chennai plant will assemble 3-series and 5-series cars and will make 90% of the 1,200 cars it plans to sell in India this year. The rest will be imported for now, based on demand.

“The market entry to India is an important step in securing BMW’s profitable growth," said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG.

BMW will pass on the benefit of lower duties to customers in India, said company officials. The change in strategy to assemble knocked-down units instead of importing completely-built units will help BMW’s Indian subsidiary save about 85% on import duties.