BMW India chief rules out price war
Newly appointed president of BMW India, Philipp Voh Sahr says he will not resort to price war to keep its lead in the luxury car race in the country.
"We want to be number one and continue to be number one with sustainable growth and not through discounting," says Sahr, adding that sometimes its competition forgets that "we are premium players".
Sahr, 54, who replaced Andreas Schaaf at the helm of the German luxury carmaker's India operations on October 1, has taken the wheel at a time when rival Audi is rapidly reducing its gap with the market leader after having already raced past Mercedes. In a sluggish market of 2012, while BMW has managed to match its last year's sales numbers, Audi has increased its sales by more than 40% in the same period.
The new BMW India chief believes one reason for this is that its competition is driving price war to unsustainable levels.
"There are price wars and rivalry between competitors in other mature markets but its much more intense here. In India price war is in line with volume products and often competition forgets that 'we are premium players'," he says.
Sahr's craze for cars began at the age of 14 when he and his brother would go every weekend on their moped to the Nurburgring racing circuit 20 kms away from their home to watch the races.
"My first hero was Hans Jaochim Stuck, the ex-Formula One driver, driving the BMW 2002 TI (at 19 he won the first 24 hours race)," he says.
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