BMW India to roll out Roadster Z4 sports car

BMW India, the fully-owned subsidiary of the world’s largest premium car maker BMW Group, will launch its two-seater Roadster Z4 sports car in India in the second half of 2009 and will add 10 dealers in tier-II cities such as Coimbatore, Jaipur, Lucknow and Ludhiana, as its India sales have exceeded expectations, said a top company executive.

“We grew 15% in the first quarter of 2009 and surpassed Mercedes Benz in the sales tally,” said BMW India president Peter Kronschnabl. Mercedes Benz has been the leader in India’s luxury car market for more than decade, but BMW surpassed it by selling 992 cars in the first quarter this year. The luxury car maker will now launch three new cars in India to keep pace with the growth momentum.

The Roadster Z4 with a folding hard-top can run up to 250 kmph. It will be launched in the price band of Rs. 5-6 million (US$ 100,000-120,000) the second half of this year. The petrol and diesel variants of the newly-launched BMW 7Series, which is priced at Rs. 8.1 million and Rs. 7.7 million, respectively, will hit the market in June.

“We are looking at incremental sales from untapped cities. Already, Ludhiana and Coimbatore are giving us sizable sales and we expect similar numbers from other tier-II cities,” said Mr Kronschnabl. BMW India will also double its presence in Delhi, its biggest market, by adding two showrooms in Gurgaon and West Delhi to take the total number of dealers to 24 by the end-year. The company has also roped in HDFC Bank – the largest private player in the auto loan market – as a preferred financier. It already has a tie-up with ICICI Bank for car finance.

Its premium car rivals Mercedes Benz launched the new M-Class SUV and the C-Class, while the third largest player, Audi, had launched the new A4, A6 and Q7 in India this year. With sales growth of 22% in FY09 to 6,671 units, luxury cars remained the fastest growing segment.

Source: Economic Times