The BMW Group announced last week that MINI will be entering the Indian car market with four different models: The MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S, MINI Convertible and MINI Cooper S Countryman.
Anyone who has paid attention to our Land Rover news blog is aware of the push premium automotive manufacturers are making to increase presence within emerging markets in Asia. BMW is currently the number one luxury automotive supplier in India, making the introduction of its sibling MINI brand a logical next step in the company’s efforts to broaden market penetration.
However, statements from BMW have indicated that the main purpose of introducing MINI to India has more to do with globalization and brand building and less to do sales volume. Kay Segler, Senior Vice-President, Mini Brand Management and Business Coordination noted, "More Indians are traveling and living abroad, they have network overseas and are more aware of trends."
The new MINIs will only be sold in three dealerships; two in Delhi and one in Mumbai. All vehicles will arrive fully assembled, which means large import duty taxes. The high cost of vehicle imports led Land Rover to create an assembly plant in Pune, India, saving costs by shipping parts (rather than vehicles) to India.
Segler points to similar importation costs in existing BMW markets like Brazil, China and Mexico, noting, “We have grown in those markets and we are confident of doing the same in India.”
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