in such places,” he added. “India is a key market for our growth strategy and we are in line with our expectations. We are already looking to double capacity at our Chakan (Pune) facility to 20,000 vehicles in a year.”
Mercedes-Benz currently has 64 dealership spread in 36 cities. Rival Audi currently has about 36 showrooms which it aims to take to 40 by the year end. BMW aims to bump up its dealership numbers to 50 by the end of the year from 35 now.
“BMW India witnessed an unprecedented price war from its competition for market share of the Indian luxury car segment. But we have made our price decisions with due care and consideration. They will pay off in the long run and lead to a win-win situation,” said Philipp von Sahr, president, BMW Group India.
“We want to increase our sales volume — but not at any price. We don’t want to be number one in discounts. Unlike our competition, we will not venture into the Indian luxury market with discounted cars,” he said.
“A combination of factors including newer models, stabilisation of the currency and locally-produced and assembled cars will give a boost to volumes,” said Puneet Gupta, associate director, IHS Automotive.
“Every manufacturer in this segment has its own strength and strategy to grow. Mercedes, for instance, has a large dealership presence. In addition, they have brought in entry-level luxury cars to woo first-time buyers. Audi has the Volkswagen engineering behind it and BMW draws only consumers who give the brand a first priority,” Gupta said.