BMW to launch X1 soon in India
There is a good news for the luxurious car lovers as their wait for the latest BMW X1 model will soon be over. To retain its leadership position in the luxury car segment, BMW will launch its latest X1 series and new 5 series models in the current calendar year.
While addressing Press Conference in Munich, BMW India's President Peter Kronschnabl told that the new 5 series in completely knocked down (CKD) version will be available for Indian customers by July 2010. X1 will be on roads by December 2010.
BMW had launched these high-end models in the Feb end of 2009 in European markets. While these models are likely to drive global revenue growth for BMW, the Munich-based luxury car maker also expects them to fuel its growth story in India. Mr.Kronschnabl told that though bookings haven't been started, but they are getting phenomenal response from the customer survey in India for both the models.
India is fast becoming a key market for BMW which suffered decline in sales during 2009 due to global economic crisis. The company sold 3,697 units in India in 2009, 38% more than the year ago. Globally, its sales volume eroded by 10.4% to 1.28 million vehicles in 2009. BMW's share in India's luxury car segment has increased from mere 9% three years ago to 41% in 2009.
X1 will be produced at BMW's Chennai plant. The company will invest 30% more in this facility from its current investment of Rs.110 crore to accommodate production of the new model. It will also add 30% more staff to its current headcount of 200.
Mr.Kronschnabl also told that BMW is actively seeking to increase its foothold in the used car segment. It will start selling pre-owned cars from April 2010. It will set up its first showroom for used cars in Chennai and then in Gurgaon in the second half of the year. The used car business is likely to contribute over 30% to BMW's future volumes in India. In well-established markets globally, the used car business grows in tandem with the new car sales.
He added that In India, there is a good scope for this segment to grow. To support its operations, the company will pump close to $50 million to strengthen its car finance division. The division currently provides retail and commercial finance and car insurance services. BMW Financial Services has already applied for NBFC license in India.
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