BMW, the German luxury car manufacturer, will make an entry into the compact segment with its 1 Series compact luxury car by the end of 2013.
The company, which is facing intense competition from German peers, is looking at generating volumes from the new 1 Series, which will be priced below the X1 mini SUV.
BMW will assemble the car at its plant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which is expected to be priced around Rs20 lakh.
“We have to look into the future in a sustainable way. The future for having growth is the product strategy. In 2013, new products that will be launched in India and also produced in Chennai will support us to remain at the leadership position,” said Phillip von Sahr (pictured), who recently took over as the president of BMW Group India.
The company currently has a capacity of assembling 11,000 units on an annual basis.
Rivals Mercedes Benz and Audi have also announced their plans to enter the compact luxury segment.
After a growth of about 70% in 2011, BMW posted a flat growth of in this year so far (January onwards), compared with 70% for Audi.
“We are very optimistic about the new 1 Series. Luxury cars are not necessarily the big cars. This is a very good example. I am confident the 1 Series is a very good premium car and will fulfil the demand of our customers. We will also look at creating a new luxury car market – but not competing with brands such as Hyundai or Ford,” said Sahr.
The company will expand its dealer network from the current 23 to 40 by the end of the next year. “We are prepared to take this number even ahead of 40,” said Sahr.
BMW on Thursday launched its 6 Series Gran Coupe, its first four-door coupe, at an all-India ex-showroom price of Rs86,40,000.