Faced with increased competition German luxury brand BMW will launch four new products including a hatchback in India next year to arrest the demand slide even as it promises to end discounting schemes and raise prices from next year.
The company will launch the new 7 series, new X1, the 1 series and the X6 next year. In addition it will increase the portfolio of locally assembled products to six from four presently to make them cheaper.
The 1 series, which will be launched towards the end of next year, will be the cheapest product in the BMW's portfolio. The compact sports utility vehicle X1, which carries a price tag of around Rs 21-22 lakh is the cheapest currently in BMW. The 1 series is BMW's answer to Mercedes A and B Class. BMW India is still ahead in the race to maintain its supremacy as the largest luxury car brand in India even as the gap between itself and fellow competitor Audi has narrowed down considerably. As per SIAM data, BMW India saw sales of 4,384 units during April-September period this year, a fall of 12.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. Audi during the same period clocked sales of 4,292 units, a growth of 50 per cent over the same period last year. However, in September Audi sold more units at 971 units as compared to 815 units sold by BMW in the same month.
Though BMW announces retails numbers to SIAM while all other manufacturers provide wholesale figures. Despite a double digit fall in sales Philipp von Sahr, BMW Group India president is confident of going past the sales mark of 9,370 units it achieved last calendar year. However, the discounting on its products will stop by the end of the year. "BMW India will increase prices of all its products by up to 10 per cent from January 2013. We will put an end to all the discounting. This is a dangerous trend and it is unsustainable. We are hiking product prices to offer better consumer experience and better service", Sahr added. The company launched the new 6 Series Gran Coupe in India today which is priced at Rs 86.4 lakh.