Forbes India speaks to Phillip von Sahr, president, BMW India, as part of our '4 X 4' (four questions -four answers) series, from the 'Auto Expo 2016' event in New Delhi.
Q1: What does BMW India have in store at the Auto Expo? We are launching two new products at the Auto Expo. One is BMW X1, our re-entry into the compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) in the luxury entry segments, and new 7 Series luxury flagship (product) that has so many innovations that we are promoting it as the future of luxury.
Q2: BMW has lost its market share to Mercedes-Benz and Audi. How many more launches can we expect this year and do you see them help you regain lost ground? You will see around 14 launches alone this year. There are a lot of new models coming this year. In India, the luxury market is still quite limited with around 35,000 units. So it is not important to be No 1 or No 2. It is very important to be prepared for the future because the future belongs to India. We have done a lot of localisation of our products. We have invested around Rs 1130 crore in India. We have to act now to prepare for the future. We are not looking at market share but rather to be prepared. We will bring to India the new Motorrad brand, which increases our footprint. We will increase our market share but we look at our brand. If the brand is strong which is the case, this is what we are looking for.
Q3: Indian government will implement BS-VI. How are you preparing for the next generation of gasoline and diesel systems? We fully support this. I think it should come in 2020 but we are prepared to start this year itself. Our competitors and auto industry may not be prepared but we can start now. It would be better if it starts in 2017.
Q4: What is your auto outlook for 2016? I expect this year and for years to come, stable good growth. We have full trust in the long-term growth of the Indian market, which makes it so important to invest in the future.
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