| | No Plans for Mini in INDIA says Mr Peter
German auto major BMW has no immediate plans to bring its Mini hatchback to India, said Mr Peter Kronschnabl, President, BMW India.
We have done a market study and found that there is no market to establish the Mini brand, he said. So, the car will not come to India in 2010.
The company had initially planned to launch brand Mini, with cars smaller and less expensive than BMW offerings, in India this year.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of sports car BMW Z4 in Mumbai, Mr Kronschnabl said the company will introduce BMW Financial Services India as a new business entity by mid-2010. BMW has already sought a licence to operate as a non-banking finance company (NBFC).
We will hopefully get the licence by May 2010. We will be investing $50 million in it, he said.
The financial services arm will offer retail automobile financing for BMW customers, financing for fleet owners and commercial financing for BMW dealerships. Our financial service company will offer financing for other cars as well. It will look into other products such as car leasing and pre-owned car business, he said.
Mr Kronschnabl said the company will open dealerships in 10 more cities. We have completed phase I of the dealer network strategy with opening 16 facilities in 14 cities. In phase II we will expand to 10 more cities, he said.
He said that the company expects to post 18 per cent growth for the calendar year. Up to September, the luxury car market showed 11 per cent growth whereas we grew by 18 per cent. We expect to maintain this growth till the end of this year, he said. Having clocked 2,738 units till September, BMW looks to cross 3,000 units this year.
Mr Kronschnabl said that the company hoped to sell 35-40 units of the newly launched two-seater roadster BMW Z4 a year.
The premium sports coupe, with automatic retractable hardtop and which can touch 250 km/hr, is available across India at Rs 59 lakh (ex-showroom price).