BMW launched the MINI brand in India at the 2012 Auto Expo held in New Delhi and later opened first Mini showroom in Mumbai. With a lot of hopes the MINI brand was brought to India and as it has been performing in the international markets, BMW expected to enjoy the same success here in India too.
So the initial expectations were to extract enormous sales as the MINI products are unique in themselves, but it was quite unfortunate that the company does not sell even enough cars to be spotted occasionally on the road. The sole reason for such unimpressive sales is the pricing of the cars.
BMW imports the MINI products as CBU in India and with high import duties and increase in CBU taxes, it has become very difficult for the manufacturer to price these cars reasonably, if not competitively. BMW is also considering local assembly of the MINI series in India via the CKD route and it could happen in 2014, which is same year when the next generation of MINIs enter the international market.
The German parent wants the MINI to become a successful brand in India as its other sub-brand Rolls Royce is setting the sales chart on fire with its Ghost in the luxury car space. Besides the high pricing the MINI is only available in petrol only, which is another letdown as more and more customers are now switching to diesel powered vehicles.
What we hear next is that BMW has confirmed its plans to launch the diesel models of the entire MINI range next year. Internationally the company has been selling MINI products with diesel engines. The MINI Cooper is powered by a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that puts out 112 BHP of max power at 4000 RPM and 270 Nm of torque between 1750 and 2250 RPM.
The MINI Cooper Convertible and Countryman crossover are powered by a bigger 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that puts out 143 BHP of max power at 4000 RPM and peak torque of 305 Nm between 1750 – 2700 RPM. The same engine is available on the Cooper model too.
Coming to the pricing now, these diesel models are expected to price app Rs. 2 lakh more than their petrol counterparts. This could seem a better deal for many customers while remaining would still wait for BMW to start assembling the MINI models here in India first.
Source – Motorbeam