BMW Group has invested over Rs 4.9 billion (€ 69 million) in BMW India. A pioneer in bringing luxurious dealerships to India, BMW India has set a decisive course by setting up BMW dealerships of international standards across the country.
Philipp Von Sahr, President, BMW Group India in a conversation with Rashi Mathur shares his brand’s plans and strategies for the country.
Tell us about your operations in India.
BMW Group has three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce in the Indian automobile market. Along with its automotive concerns, the BMW Group's activities in India include the marketing of motorcycles, as well as financial services for its premium clientele.
How do you see the Indian luxury market?
The Indian luxury market has immense potential with rising purchasing power, growing aspiration for luxury brands and evolving lifestyles. Luxury is a constantly evolving and subjective concept and luxury is definitely not a new experience to India. India has an extensive history and tradition of opulence and wealth.
How has your dealing been with the Indian market?
India is a country which is witnessing dynamic growth. BMW India has dealerships across the country. Each of these regions is different in terms of culture, geographical terrain, climate, infrastructure, religious composition, human resources and also, types of customers.
What is the stretch of your dealership base in Indian market?
Currently, BMW India has 39 sales outlets in the Indian market across Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore, Indore, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Pune, Goa, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Kochi, Calicut, Jaipur, Udaipur, Raipur, Nagpur, Lucknow and Kanpur, Vijayawada and Coimbatore.
What are your expansion plans?
By end of 2015, BMW India will aggressively expand its dealer network by increasing the number of sales outlets to 50 across major metropolitan centres and emerging markets in India.
What initiatives have you taken to reach out to your clients in emerging markets?
To increase the customer outreach in the emerging markets in India, we have introduced the innovative concept of BMW Experience Tour. The BMW Experience Tour 2015 has already been hosted across 11 Indian cities and will be reaching additional seven cities. A one-of-its-kind event, the tour provides an exclusive opportunity for BMW clientele and prospective customers in tier II and III cities.
What is the biggest challenge faced by you?
BMW India has witnessed an unprecedented price war from its competitors for market share of the Indian luxury car segment.
What strategy you follow to meet this deterrent?
We have made our price decisions with utmost care and consideration. They will definitely pay off well in the long run, leading to a win-win situation in terms of profitability and growth. Unlike our competitors, we will not venture into the Indian luxury market with discounted cars.