There’s probably a MINI darting out of every second lane in Europe, and while the BMW Group owned British marquee isn’t aspiring to see a similar scenario with regards to the popularity of its cars here in India, revisions in the Union Budget announced earlier this year have left MINI a little concerned about its Countryman model.
To escape the burden of higher excise duty on SUVs supplemented by a 25% hike in the import of CBUs, MINI have bravely commenced the local assembly of their MINI Countryman model at the BMW plant near Chennai (formerly Madras), India.
The iconic brand’s crossover SUV petrol model introduced in April last year now has a more affordable sibling, the MINI One Countryman, which will be up for grabs at a far more affordable price tag of Rs 23.50 lakh (ex-showroom).
The other petrol variants of the MINI Countryman - MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper S Countryman High however will continue to be imported in India as Completely Built-up Units (CBU) along with all of MINI’s other hatchback (Cooper) models.
Also, adding to the Countryman range for the very first time are two diesel variants, which will also be locally produced at the plant near Chennai. This new MINI local production facility has been brought on stream just a year after the start of MINI sales in India and will help to meet the steadily increasing demand.
In line with its strategy “Production follows the market”, the BMW Group’s decision to carry out local production of the MINI Countryman responds to need of the Indian market. With the start pf the production of the MINI Countryman at the BMW Plant Chennai, MINI is the first premium small car to be locally manufactured in India and expects significant growth over the medium and long term.
The BMW Plant Chennai is spread over an area of 40 acres at the Mahindra World City which is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Chennai. It produces the BMW 3 Series, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW X1 and the BMW X3. In 2013, the BMW Plant Chennai will also produce the BMW 7 Series and the BMW 1 Series.
The ex-showroom prices (INR) of the MINI cars in India are as follows –
MINI Cooper S
MINI Cooper Convertible
MINI ONE Countryman*
MINI Cooper D Countryman*
MINI Cooper D Countryman High*
MINI Cooper S Countryman
MINI Cooper S Countryman High
Est. Price: `456.00 lakh
Est. Price: `4.30 lakh
Est. Price: `16.67 lakh
Est. Price: `27.26 lakh