BMW to ramp up investments

German auto giant BMW is ramping up investments and expanding retail touch points in India as it looks to grab a larger market share in the growing luxury segment in the country.

The car maker has invested ₹120 crore in India so far this year, taking the total investments to ₹1,250 crore.

“We want to be the fastest growing luxury car in the Indian market. Last year, we grew at 14%, this year till now we have seen an 8% growth,” Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India said.

BMW had sold 7,861 units in India in 2016, while it sold 3,533 units for the current year until now.

GST push

Mr. Pawah added that the introduction of all new 5-Series sedan later this month in India, along with implementation of GST will help push the sales further this year. The company has till now sold about 66,000 cars in India, of which 5 Series account for 30%. The company started production of the all-new 5 Series at its Chennai plant earlier this month.

He added that the company has also increased its investments in its subsidiaries in India from ₹1,130 crore at the end of 2016 to ₹1,250 crore by the end of the current month. Of this ₹730 crore has gone into BMW Financial Services.

“There is plenty to be done in India…plenty of potential. We want to grow the market here. Currently, luxury car market in India is at a very nascent stage… it is less than 2% of the car market. It should be at least 5% if we compare to other countries or 10% as in the developed markets,” Mr. Pawah, who joined BMW in March this year, said.

In India, the premium car market is around 35,000 units a year.

Asked about GST, he said, “Any cut in tax rate is welcome. We have started passing on the benefits of GST and are seeing a good response.

It will be difficult to say in terms of sales but giving we are seeing a good traction.”

Touch points

BMW India will also be increasing its customer touch points to 50 by 2018, from the current 41. It will also be bringing series 6 Gran Turismo to India next year.

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