BMW to invest additional Rs 130 crore to enhance operations in India

German BMW Luxury carmaker India BMW group

Pawah added that the investments will fund BMW's group operations, including its two-wheeler business, and its financial services arm. Reports quoted BMW India president Vikram Pawah saying on Sunday that the planned investments will bring the firm's total investments in local operations to Rs 1,250 crore.

While the company will invest around Rs 130 crore in 2017, the previous years has seen the company invest a sum of Rs 1,120 crore. BMW is also expected to launch the recently unveiled 6 Series Gran Turismo (GT) in India next year.

The plant has an installed capacity of 14,000 units on a single shift basis. The company is also looking to expand its dealer network in the country. BMW also plans to increase their sales outlets from 41 to 50 by 2018.

In other emerging towns, in addition to 30 major cities, the company utilises its "Mobile Studios" to expand the market further.

This year, the weather proof BMW mobile studio will cover 50 towns, Pawah said.

Apart from introducing lifecycle changes of existing products and new variants, BMW India will launch the all-new 5 Series within a fortnight, which accounts for its 30% annual volumes. Since 2007, BMW has sold around 66,000 vehicles in India with the 5 Series having contributed close to 30 percent of total sales. Pawah said, "We need to have an adequate retail infrastructure before it becomes available here".

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

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

The company also plans to increase its market share in the premium vehicle segment in India from under 2% to between 5 and 10%.

"The idea is to grow the segment".

BMW India, which was very keen to introduce the plug-in hybrid vehicles in India, but is revisiting its plan since the subsidy on hybrid vehicles has been withdrawn, and the company will take up the matter with the government. "We are disappointed with the GST rates in that PIH has been completely ignored", said Pawah. "That will make transition much easier but with current policies it does not allow us to do that", he added. "It can not happen immediately", he said.

"So the transition to electric mobility from a customer viewpoint would be a bigger hurdle", Pawah said.

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