In the midst of celebrating a decade in India, BMW launched its all-new BMW 5 series in India at an event on June 29. For the launch, Sachin Tendulkar was brought on board to unveil the car. With this launch, BMW aims to hold the leadership position in India in the luxury car segment category.
At the launch event, Vikram Pawah President, BMW India, talked about the brand’s strategy and position in India, “We focus on profitability, customer satisfaction, technology, volume, etc. We believe if we achieve the set of targets that we have set then we can become No.1 automatically. The goals that we have achieved in the luxury car market till now are – we have emerged as a strong and premium automotive brand, we have the most desirable product portfolio and we have established the most efficient dealer network in India.”
BMW entered the Indian market in 2007 and established the luxury car segment altogether in India. Pawah shared BMW’s journey in India and said, “From 2007 to 2009, BMW Group India built a very strong foundation to secure its future in India. From the year 2010-2012, the focus was on growing the market and achieving leadership in the luxury car segment. From 2013-2016, BMW Group consolidated its position with a clear vision of sustainable growth and profitability.”
Adhering to GST in India, BMW has marked the price of the all-new BMW 5 series according to the GST rules even before the implementation of the rule. Pawah said, “I think GST is good for the entire economy. GST has been the biggest reform we are talking about. It will kick-start the economy in the next year. Once that happens, people’s aspirations will grow and they will look for more premium experience on premium products and we are right there to provide premium products to our customers.”
Elaborating on the company’s future plans in India, Pawah said, “We have started the realignment process in the last three months. The future strategy for India includes new directions, methodologies and privatisation to become the most desirable premium automotive brand in India. The next 10 years will define our future. From 2017, BMW India will continue its focus to be value-driven, a customer-focused organisation with a clear goal to be the best and set a benchmark in the industry in every aspect of passion, performance and excellence.”
Globally, 2016 was one of the most successful years for BMW with annual sales setting a new record for the sixth year in a row. The BMW Group achieved its best ever first quarter in 2017 and marked for the first time half a billion mark such early in the first year. Pawah added, “Although in absolute terms, India cannot compete with high-volume markets, yet the future belongs to India. 2017 has started on a very healthy note and BMW India is confident in registering a positive growth in sales. It has sold 3,533 units till May this year, registering an eight per cent growth.
The BMW headquarters is in Gurgaon, the central parts warehouse in Mumbai and the BMW plant is in Chennai, which produces eight car models. To date, more than 66,000 vehicles have been sold in India by the BMW Group.
Currently, BMW India has 41 sales outlets. Pawah said, “We plan to expand the sales outlets to 50 by 2018 in metropolitans and emerging markets in India. BMW has also launched BMW mobile studio to reach out to people in the emerging markets. Today various activities are being initiated in BMW India with the solid basis to develop a strong foundation for the future. For this, BMW Group has invested Rs 12.5 billion in its subsidiaries in India.”
BMW receives the maximum sales from the traditional markets, i.e metros. “But we are also seeing an emerging trend from the emerging markets. The aspirations of people are growing as the economy is growing. BMW Mobile studio reaches out to those customers in the emerging towns.”
Last year, BMW group completed 100 years globally. BMW has evolved from being an aircraft consultant and moving on to being a motorcycle manufacturer and then being a car maker.