The BMW Group on Thursday launched its iconic Mini brand in India with four models priced up to Rs 31.99 lakh after having decided against such a move in the past.
The company has introduced four variants of the Mini. While the Mini Cooper will be priced Rs 24.9 lakh, the Mini Cooper S comes with a price tag of Rs 27.9 lakh. The Mini Convertible is priced at Rs 29.99 lakh, while the Mini Cooper S Countryman has a price tag of Rs 31.99 lakh.
The BMW group had earlier planned to bring the car to the country by 2009, but shelved the plan on account of market conditions. "Yes, it’s a bit delayed but not too late for the Mini to be launched in India," Kay Segler, Senior Vice-President, Mini Brand Management and Business Coordination, told PTI.
He said the Indian market is now ready for a brand like the Mini as the country has become a part of the global community when it comes to lifestyle trends. "More Indians are travelling and living abroad, they have network overseas and are more aware of trends," Segler said. To start with, the Mini will have its separate showrooms, two in Delhi and one in Mumbai. "For the initial years, we will keep the numbers that way and will focus on brand building in India," he said.
In terms of sales, the company is not looking at volumes, he said, adding that there were no plans to assemble the car in India in the near future.
The car will be imported as completely built unit. Asked about the high import duty imposed on imported cars in India, which could add a tax burden of about 110 per cent, Segler said it was not an issue as the situation was similar in markets like Brazil, Mexico, China and even Korea.
"We have grown there in those markets and we are confident of doing the same in India," he added. The company has started bookings of the Mini in India and deliveries will start by March, he said.