BMW to launch X1 and new X3 in India

BMW is all set to launch the BMW X1, its new and affordable crossover compact SUV. And new X3 in India. A BMW India spokesman confirmed that the X1, which has been in the global market since October, would be launched here by early 2011.

And according to top industry sources, BMW’s smallest SAV (sports activity vehicle) will sport a price tag of around Rs. 25-35 lakh. “The right-hand drive configuration is being worked out,” says the spokesman. This is believed to be a bold yet clever move by BMW, which sells the X3, X5 and X6 here in the crossover-SUV category.

The company is also planning to roll out a fresh and bigger X3 next year to ward off competition from the new Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz’s latest and most petite SUV, the GLK. The X3, which was BMW’s smallest SAV before the launch of the X1, is increasingly being deemed passé with dated features and interiors. The new X3 will move into the mould of the bigger X5 with roomier innards and frills.

This will also help to increase the price gap between the X1 and the X3. Currently, the all-wheel drive (xDrive) X3 that is being imported as a completely built unit (CBU) and sold here comes with an ex-showroom price tag of roughly Rs. 40 lakh.

The entry-level X1 on the other hand sports a rear-wheel drive (sDrive) and comes with a 1.8L gasoline engine. Overseas, a host of engine configurations are available for the X1 — 1.8L in diesel and petrol, 2.0L diesel, 2.3L diesel and 2.8L petrol. It still remains to be seen which ones make their way here. And as far as sales in this segment are concerned, premium carmakers are having a good time in this country.

For instance, with the X3 and X5, BMW has witnessed a growth of more than 100% in the April-October period this year on a y-o-y basis. Another German player Audi has also had a favourable experience with its two crossover-SUVs, the Q5 and the Q7.

Source: Economic Times