BMW to open dealerships in smaller cities by Dec '08

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New Delhi, Dec 9 (UNI) In a bid to tap the country's growing luxury car segment, German car maker BMW has said it will enter smaller cities by the end of next year, and increase the number of dealerships in the metros to 12 by May 2008.

''The Indian luxury car market has a great potential and looking at this, we will enter the tier II cities by December 2008,'' BMW India President Peter Kronschnabl told UNI here.

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH) has captured a 30 per cent market share at 1,350 units, while the the total luxury car segment is expected to sell about 4,500 units by the year-end.

Mr Kronschnabl said the number will touch 10,000 units by 2010, as the country's luxury car segment is growing by 40 per cent.

He said the outlets to be opened in the tier II cities will be more or less of the same size as they are in the metros.

However, Mr Kronschnabl refused to divulge further details about its plans of tier II cities.

Among the tier II cities, Surat and Coimbatore are expected to be on the company's radar.

At present, BMW has eight dealers, two each in the NCR including this newly launched dealership and Mumbai, and one each in Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

The President said the next dealership will open in Pune on December 19, followed by Kochi and Ahmedabad in March next year.

The twelfth outlet will be in Kolkata by May 2008.

Headquartered in Gurgaon, BMW India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group, has initially invested Rs 110 crore into the establishment of its manufacturing plant in Chennai, which became operational in March this year, and development of a dealer organisation across all metropolitan cities in India.

The Chennai plant produces the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series Sedans in petrol and diesel variants. It has a capacity of 1,700 units per year on a one-shift basis.

The company is all set to launch its much-awaited M3 car at a price of about 74 lakh during the coming Auto Expo in January next year here.

With the assembly plant in Chennai, the BMW Group has a total of 23 production locations across 13 countries.

UNI

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