BMW bets on SUVs to set the pace

BMW expects one out of every two vehicles it sells in the country to be an SUV

Ketan Thakkar

Having grown in double digits in a falling luxury car market in 2018, BMW India is banking on a new range of sports utility vehicles or SUVs to continue outpacing peers. BMW expects one out of every two vehicles it sells in the country to be an SUV. The company sells three locally assembled SUVs – the X1, X3 and X5.

It will complement them with the X4, X6 and X7. The X4 and X7 (to be launched later this year) will be locally assembled, while the X6 will be brought in as a completely built in unit. 

“SUVs, Sports Activity Vehicles, Sports Activity Coupes are in demand and we believe that what we have seen in the last couple of years will continue in the future with these cars gaining market share over sedans,” Hans-Christian Bartels, president of BMW Group India, told ET at the launch of the 2019 X5 SUV, which has a starting ex-showroom price of Rs 72.9 lakh. BMW plans to launch 12 new vehicles in 2019 and align products with global updates.

In 2018, BMW India sales grew 13% on the back of new launches to 11,105 units. The overall Indian luxury car market grew only 5% with cumulative sales of about 40,850 units. The slowdown at its peers helped BMW increase market share to 27% at the end of 2018, the highest since 2012.

As per financials shared with ministry of corporate affairs, BMW India saw a profit of Rs 116 crore in FY18 against a loss of Rs 144 crore in FY17. ET sourced the financials from Veratech Intelligence. Sources said, BMW has sustained its profitable performance in FY19, but financials are yet to be filed.

Economic Times