BMW India plans to make 2015 an impactful year for the brand with 15 new launches in the pipe-line along with increased localization to keep costs in check. The German brand has increased the count of its local parts suppliers from two to eight this year, and these include Force Motors for engine and gearbox supply, Hero Chassis for axles and Draexlmaier India for door panels and wire harnesses.
BMW currently assembles eight models from its Chennai plant including the 7, 5 and 3 series and localization will help the brand save costs from high import duties, but is mainly in line with BMW’s policy of production following the market. Speaking on these plans Mr. Phillip von Sahr, President BMW Group India said: “We have been focusing on long term sustainable profitable growth in India. As we have a strong portfolio of locally produced cars, it is only appropriate that we increase our localization levels by sourcing more components locally”. Her further added “After the course correction we did in 2012-14 period focusing on long term sustainable profitable growth rather than chasing volumes, today we are ready and better prepared for the next step of growing our business here”.
This localization move may not directly benefit the consumers, but would indirectly shield the products from price hikes due to currency fluctuation and inflation. Von Sahr further added “Localization is good for us to do our business profitably that will allow us to invest in our marketing and brand promotion, better service and showroom experience through dealers”.
Further elaborating on the company’s localization move Mr. Robert Frittrang, Managing Director of the BMW Chennai plant said: “For the past one year we have been working on partnering with the right local vendors, which meet our global standards. From January this year we have increased localisation content to over 50 per cent in vehicles assembled at the plant from only 20 per cent earlier ".
The new launches for 2015 will include the new BMW M6 Gran Coupe and the M6 Coupe along with the all new BMW X5M and the X6M. Last year BMW group had sold a total of 6,812 units in India, as compared to 10,201 units for Mercedes-Benz and 10,851 for Audi.
Source : CarDekho