BMW, Audi and Mercedes adopt dual strategy to boost sales
Germany's luxury carmakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are embarking on a two-pronged game plan to boost sales in the New Year: produce more cars locally, thereby making them more price-competitive; and, at the same time, import new models - at least a dozen between the three of them - to keep the allure of their brands going.
Leading the pack is BMW, which will assemble its flagship 7 Series sedan at the Chennai plant from next year and later roll out the all-new compact hatchback 1 Series from the same plant. BMW plans to launch three new products next year to maintain its leadership over Audi and Mercedes Benz.
BMW currently assembles the X1 SUV at Chennai and will roll out its new version from January onwards for the Indian market. The product offensive will continue with next generation of the 7 Series and 1 Series hatchback slated to hit Indian roads in the second half of 2013.
BMW is currently struggling to hit the previous fiscal year's level of sales. It has sold 12% less car in the April to October period even as arch-rival Audi's sales jumped 53% in this period, resulting in both carmakers running neck and neck with sales of a little over 5,000 sedans and SUVs.
Philipp von Sahr , BMW Group India's newly-appointed president, remains confident of achieving the previous year's target. "We are not chasing volumes, but are surely looking at some improvement in sales helped by the new product launches. We faced a slack period due to the model change of the high-volume 3 Series sedan, but will gain incremental numbers with the recently launched X-6 and other models."