BMW India recently took a swipe at its closest rival Audi, slandering it for going the “discount” way to boost sales.
Taking a dig at its German competitor Audi that has been currently emerging as a threat to its leadership position, Philipp von Sahr, the newly appointed president of BMW India said that BMW is upbeat about maintaining its control in the market, without falling for petty price war. "Some of our competitors believe in gaining leadership only through discounts."
Audi, on the other hand, has been growing strength to strength in India, and the question of giving away big discount to cement its position seems tenuous. Michael Perscke, head of Audi in India, thinks that models as well as bigger retail presence are some of the key factors that have helped the company to gain a strong hold in the Indian market.
The past ten months sales report reveal that while BMW’s sales have slightly plummeted as the company sold 7,389 units, Audi saw volumes go up 55% at 7,267 vehicles during the same time.
Philipp von Sahr exclaimed that BMW is not bothered about Audi’s emerging popularity and growing sales. "We are not looking at month-onmonth numbers but rather on a sustainable leadership. We hope to continue our leadership running through the year," explained Sahr.
BMW has a series of new releases lined-up for release including the next-generation X1 mini SUV in January. The glitz of BMW X1 was slightly marred by Audi Q3.
Talking about their big plans, Philipp von Sahr said that BMW has ambitious plans to eventually localize it’s high volume models as well as have CKD (completely knocked down) operations for six models by 2013-end . "In all, we will have local assembly operations for the 3, 5 and 7 series sedans and the X1 and X3 SUVs and 1 Series hatchback."
However, amidst all the cut-throat competition, the sluggish market continues to pose a threat to both. "Market has been more sluggish this time around during the festive season and everybody is trying to give sweet deals to get customers to showrooms. There are more cars in the market than there are buyers," Perschke said.