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BMW India gears up to drive into bikes

BMW India could soon enter the luxury motorcycles segment in the country.

Written by Fe Bureau | New Delhi | Published: September 22, 2010 11:01:16 pm

BMW India could soon enter the luxury motorcycles segment in the country as part of the company’s strategy to extend its brand across product segments. Andreas Schaaf,president BMW India,said on Tuesday that the company has already started the due diligence process and a final decision would be taken in another month. “We are currently investigating whether its a good idea or not to enter the Indian market (for motorcycles). No final decision has been taken yet but the investigation would be over in the next couple of weeks,” Schaaf said. He,however ruled out any immediate plans of setting up an independent manufacturing base in India for producing motorcycles.

The company has also chalked out plans to maintain its dominance in the luxury market. Schaaf said that in the next two years BMW India would make a fresh investment of Rs 70 crore in its wholly-owned facility in Chennai. The company has also increased capacity to 5,400 units from the current 3,000 units. Since 2007,BMW has put in Rs 110 crore for capacity expansion in India. “India is a market that holds great potential for the future for us and is a building block in our global market offensive,” BMW AG board member Frank-Peter Arndt said. The company is also going to enter the pre-owned car business,following the footsteps of its rival Mercedes-Benz.

Schaaf said that this would broaden the customer base for BMW products in India by opening up an entirely new segment. In June this year Mercedes-Benz India launched its global program of ‘Proven Exclusivity’ in India by offering second hand models to its customers. BMW will also increase its manpower strength to 400 by the end of this year from 200 currently. “At the same time as we are expanding capacity,we will also be gearing the plant to produce a further model,XI,for the Indian market,starting in November 2010,” he added.

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