Source : PTI : German luxury carmaker BMW is increasing its focus on India, buoyed by the best-ever annual sales in 2022 as it sees “huge growth potential for market leadership” here given the low penetration. Driven by the highest ever number of launches (26) and pent-up demand arising from the pandemic-induced lockdowns, BMW India sold 35 per cent more cars (BMWs and Minis combined) in 2022 at 11,981 units (of which 11,268 were BMWs), making it the highest ever deliveries in its history since its entry in 2007.
Its two-wheeler brand Motorrad also had its best-ever sales delivering 7,282 units, a full 40 per cent growth on-year. Though India is likely to overtake Japan to become the third-largest auto market in the world after China and the US in 2022 selling more than 4.25 million units, there is nothing to write home about the luxury segment which is just about 1 per cent. Of this, the car volume stood at 3.8 million in 2022, excluding the units sold by luxury carmakers Mercedes, BMW and Volvo, according to data shared by industry body SIAM last week.
“am happy that in 2022 India became one of our fastest growing markets in terms of volumes – clocking the best-ever sales since our entry in 2007 – and growth rates for all our brands here. | am pretty confident that India will continue to surprise us in 2023 as well,” Jean-Philippe Parain, senior vice-president for Asia Pacific, eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at the BMW Group, told PTI.
Despite such record numbers, he said “India is not among the top 10 markets for us globally. But it has huge potential for faster and higher growth and become a lead market for us.” He did not offer a timeline for the same.
When it comes to volumes, “India volume has never been so high and so is our optimism, which comes from the strong fundamentals of the very resilient economy, pro-growth policies of the government and the conducive regulatory environment,” Parain said.
To build on the record growth, BMW has lined up as many as 18 launches for 2023 across its three brands-the mother brand BMW, the Mini and the bike brand Motorrad — Parain said, adding three of the new launches will be electric to further build on its market leadership here. It already has three models on the road, making it the largest player in the luxe EV space.
Of these, five will be all-new launches (from BMW, the 7 Series, i7 Series, the X1, and the M2; and the R18 Transcontinental from the Motorrad stable) and four will be facelifts — all from the BMW stable with planned launch of the X7, 3 Series Gran Limousine, the X5 and the M4.
The year will also see nine variant launches, he said, adding of them six will be from BMW stable and the rest from the Mini brand.
The company has already begun its market offensive this year launching the i7 Series on January 7 with three variants including the first ever electric model from this platform.