Friday, 26 August 2011

BMW expands India output by 1,000 units; launches X3 SUV

German luxury car maker BMW on Thursday said it has increased annual output from its Chennai plant to 11,000 units with the start of second shift from June.  The company, which is present in India through a wholly owned subsidiary, today launched its sports utility vehicle X3 priced between Rs 41.2 lakh and Rs 47.9 lakh (ex-showroom, across India). 

"We have expanded our production facility by starting the second shift of production. The production has been expanded to 11,000 units annually from 10,000 units," BMW India President Andreas Schaaf told reporters here.  Earlier in March, the company had ramped up production capacity from 8,000 to 10,000 units per year in single shift operations. 

"If needed we can add another assembly line, if needed we can increase the output of the second shift and if needed we can add another production site. Everything is possible on our strategy for the next 10 years," Schaaf said.  He said the company was targeting to sell one lakh units every year in India, but declined to share any timeline. In March, BMW India had said it is targeting sales of up to 60,000 units in the next 10 years and will invest an additional Rs 70 crore by 2012. 

Last year, BMW retained its number one position in the Indian luxury car segment with sales of 6,246 units, which was up 73 per cent from the previous year. 

To expand its product portfolio in the country, BMW India today introduced its SUV X3 in diesel options. The vehicle will be produced at its Chennai plant as a completely knocked down unit. The sales of the car will start from next month. 

Commenting on the new model, Schaaf said: "The launch of the new BMW X3 is a significant milestone in our growth strategy in India... It will be a volume car for us." 

The company has recently increased the number of employees in to over 650.


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