The battle of the `compact’ luxury cars is set to heat up with BMW announcing plans to begin assembling its “entry level” 1 Series of hatchbacks at Chennai by the end of 2013.

The premium carmaker will also begin local assembly of the flagship 7-series by the middle of next year, while that for the new refreshed Sports Activity Vehicle X1 will start earlier on in January, Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW India said. The company already sells cars from this Series here which are brought in as Completely Built Units, while the 3 and 5 Series cars and X1 and X3 are produced here.

On Thursday night, BMW launched the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the first four-door coupe in its history, in India. The new car, in a diesel variant, is available at all BMW dealerships across India as a CBU (Completely Built-Up) unit and the deliveries will start from November 2012 onwards at an all-India ex-showroom price of Rs 86,40,000.

The company’s CKD product range will cover all opportunities relevant to it, Sahr said, adding that BMW will concentrate on strategy and anticipating the market to maintain its leadership position in the Indian market. It is also adding dealerships and will close 2012 with 40 from 27 dealerships currently.

“(This year), an unprecedented price war was witnessed,” he said, adding that BMW will however stand its ground and refuse to be drawn into it. Having sold 7,389 units from Jan-October, the company expects to exceed last year’s tally of 9371 units by December end. BMW has announced that it will raise the price of all the models in its portfolio beginning January 2013.

Inspired by the idea of an object cutting straight through liquid medium and imagining the lines and forms that would be created in the process, the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe has an elongated profile, a long wheelbase and extended bonnet.

Its features include TwinPower Turbo diesel engine, eight-speed sport automatic transmission with Cruise Control, and a top speed of 250 km/hr.

(This article was published on November 11, 2012)
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