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BMW to Centre: Don’t go for sudden policy changes; leave tech adoption to the customer

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on February 22, 2018 Published on February 22, 2018

Green drive Vikram Pawah, President, BMW India, said the Centre should let in electric/hybrid technologies at lesser import duties   -  PAUL NORONHA

Company plans slew of launches soon, including plug-in hybrids

Luxury carmaker BMW Group India has said the Centre should not be looking at overnight policy changes and should leave the decision on adopting newer technologies to the customer.

However, the company also said it will roll out ‘green’ products in India well ahead of the deadline because of the technologies available worldwide.

For instance, it said, it will launch plug-in hybrid i8 Roadster later this year, which is environment-friendly and gives 100 km range with 2.1 litre of petrol. Starting with this, the company will bring in a new segment every year, Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India, told BusinessLine in an interview.

“We were conscious that we will bring plug-in hybrid i8 in 2015 and i8 Roadster gets launched later this year. We are currently evaluating other plug-in hybrids as well. For example, we have the 7 and 5 series plug-in hybrids in our line-up worldwide. We are currently evaluating which ones to bring in here,” he said.

Most expensive model

The i8 Roadster will be the most expensive car in the BMW line-up in India. “For us it is always about making sure that we are producing the latest technology,” Pawah said.

To encourage the introduction of such electric/hybrid vehicles in India, he said, the government should allow such technologies at lesser import duties.

“Our representation to the government is very strong — the more you allow those products to come in, the better India will go forward in terms of worldwide technologies.”

He said if the tariff difference between imported cars and local products is narrowed, the customer can opt to pay a bit more for new technology.

Then the market will also automatically shift to newer technologies and the local players will have no option but shift to the latest technology. India will become a lot more advanced in technology that way, Pawah said. For instance, he said, the leapfrogging to BS-VI from BS-IV would have been easier if the fuel were made automatically available instead of the government making regulations or policies around them.

That is why the company is launching the petrol version of BS-VI vehicles from April (when the regulations comes into effect), he said, adding that the diesel version will be launched when the fuel is available.

Bike launches

On competition and products line-up, he said this year will be exciting for BMW customers.

Apart from BMW and Mini cars, it is planning to bring in BMW Motorrad motorcycles.

The company will be launching mid-size motorcycles — F850 GS and F750 GS — and also the BMW 310 R and 310 GS, which are manufactured in Tamil Nadu at TVS Motor’s factory.

In the cars category, apart from the i8 Roadster, some of the launches include the X6 GT, the new X3 to be launched in April, the all-new X4 and the Mini Countryman in June, Pawah added.

Published on February 22, 2018
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