Good, bad, and ugly of being BMW India at the moment
By the end of last month, curiosity got the better of most of whom were hunting for sales numbers, in this case, BMW India sales figures for Q1. In not divulging numbers, BMW had a secret advantage. The situation left us guessing where the company stands. As SIAM requires automobile manufacturers to submit wholesale sales figures, BMW India was not bound to furnish sales details as they compute retail sales figures.
At SIAM’s end, such a situation prompted them to stop reporting data of Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, and JLR in monthly reports. Data reported in the Flash Report released by SIAM on 10th April 2013 for FY-13 contained 9 months (April – December 2012) data for Mercedes Benz, BMW India and Audi for FY13, while the data for FY-12 was for 12 months for all the companies. Since, they did not receive data from BMW from January 2013 onward, reporting ceased. Resultantly, percentage growth Audi, BMW, Mercedes and JLR were to be ignored, as they were not the final growth figures, and as such inaccurate.
The new BMW 7 Series launch in India was scheduled for 25th April. Price is as follows: 730Ld- Rs 92.90 lakhs, 740 Li- Rs 1.12 crore, 750Li- Rs 1.29 crore and 760Li- Rs 1.73 crore. Deliveries began on 1st May 2013. However, just before Labour Day, BMW Group India sales figures were confirmed at 1,465 vehicles sold in Q1 2013. The break up stood at 1410 BMW luxury cars, and 55 units of Mini. In 2012, BMW triumphed with 9,375 cars sold, however, maintaining that momentum through 2013 Q1 has been a difficult task at hand. BMW has been has led the luxury car industry since 2009. In Q1 2012, they sold 2,369 cars here. In comparison, they have sold 959 fewer cars at the start of this year resulting in 40.5% sales decline. BMW India has all along been resolute about not being part of a number race in their quest to be leaders in the market. The focus is on the brand’s premium image, which is what they wish to highlight while sustaining growth and profit.
Wef 1st April 2013, Dr. Stefan David Schlipf stepped in as MD and CEO of BMW Financial Services India. It can’t be easy to be BMW in India at present. The desire to reclaim top spot would be optimum, and at the same time difficult with competition staring at them at both ends of the new order. The way forward is new vehicle launches, increased localization, and interactive financial tools that assist buyers. Because it’s locally produced, the entry level BMW 7 series 730Ld is available at a price of Rs 92.90 lakhs. This would be key in ensuring price feasibility for buyers.
BMW Financial Services India is clearly opting for schemes that are designed for a particular car range for a specified time in order to attain targeted sales for the period in concern. Last month, buyers were allowed to pay 50% of the car loan in 3 years, and thereafter, retain or trade the car. The 100% Finance offer for the 5 Series or 3 Series assured no service or maintenance cost for the 3 year period((60,000 kms).
In March, BMW X range SUV’s (BMW X1, BMW X3, BMW X5 and BMW X6) were offered at pre-budget prices, and depreciation benefit. The BMW X6 limited stock offering entailed maximum saving of Rs. 14,70,000. For May 2013, BMW Financial Services India offers the new 3 series at a down payment of Rs 4,99,000 with EMI of Rs 55,555. The Ultimat3 irresistible limited period offer includes their no service or maintenance cost for the 3 year period(60,000 kms) clause.
On 4th May, BMW India hosted ‘Not Normal, with Manish Arora at the Eros Multi Level Parking, Delhi. The innovative setup was the perfect backdrop for the Mini Cooper D Countryman launch. India’s 1st diesel Mini was introduced at a price of 25.60 lakh onward.
Last week saw tax authorities, and Department of Revenue Intelligence and Customs search BMW India’s plant in regards to duty evasion to the tune of crores. Authorities are looking into tax avoidance practices, if any at the plant. The bone of contention is part imports, and how they enter India. If pre-assembled, duty warranted is 30%. If shown as completely knocked down units, and non-assembled parts, the import duty is lower at 10%. Fudging of such data would imply tax evasion. A BMW spokesperson said, “An inspection is in process by the authorities at BMW plant Chennai. We are cooperating with the authorities in the inspection process.”
Last week, BMW India was announced as official car partner for the TCS World 10K Bangalore run on Sunday, May 19th 2013. The new BMW X6 Lead Car for the run was unveiled at Koramangala stadium at the BMW Booth at Get Active Expo this weekend. Few impressions from the unveiling of the new BMW X6 – the Lead Car for TCS World 10K Bangalore 2013.