BMW has launched the entire range of cars from its Mini portfolio. Showcased previously at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi, Mini has expanded its foothold in 100 countries with the launch in India.
With over hundred bookings already made, the iconic Mini will have its first dealership at Infiniti Cars, Santa Cruz, Mumbai. Spread over 12,500 sq foot area, the showroom will host the entire range of Mini cars, with five models at display and a restaurant under the same roof. Following will be the showrooms at Delhi, under the dealership of Deutsche Motoren and Bird Automotive. Mini is targeting to expand its nationwide dealership network to 5 by the end of the year. The first batch of cars will be delivered in May with a target of 20 cars per month.
Arriving to the shore as Completely Built Units (CBU), the Mini will carry a steep 75 per cent excise duty, making it seriously expensive. The Mini range will sport powerful and efficient petrol engine with six-speed automatic transmission.
Prices for the Mini range as per ex-showroom:
Mini Cooper: Rs 25.5 lacs
Mini Cooper S: Rs 28.6 laacs
Mini Cooper Convertible: Rs 30.7 lacs
Mini Cooper S Countryman: Rs 32.8 lacs
Mini Cooper S Countryman High: Rs 35.9 lacs
The timing of BMW launching their Mini in the Indian market coincides with car sales not entirely doing their best except for a few manufacturers whose diesel cars are selling well. BMW plans to introduce the Mini priced at Rs. 25 lakhs. The German manufacturer, BMW, would start importing the Mini small car in the coming 2 months and plan to open dealerships in Mumbai and Delhi. The German car maker would be bringing in all the ranges of Mini, popular variants to include Cooper, Clubdoor, Countryman and Cabrio. The high-end Clubman would cost Rs. 30 lakhs and comes with full accessories and sports package.
In 1960s, the Mini was one of the original English cars that harbingered a new dimension in the automobile industry. The car’s features were inspired by many car makers during that time with its sporty and smooth retro designs. For example, Maruti’s Swift is also designed based on the Mini; however, the masterpiece in Mini is still the best seller with a sales figure of around 2.34-lakh cars sold globally. Although it sells the best in the United States, it’s also sold pretty well in countries like Britain, Japan and Germany.
President, BMW India, Andreas Schaaf tells Mini finally has arrived in India after many years of constant research and feasibility. Andres Schaaf told BMW plans to unveil the Mini at Auto Expo in Delhi in January next year.
The timing, as previously thought, of BMW launching the Mini during a time where other small luxury car makers had failed like Volkswagen’s Beetle and Fiat 500 is debatable. Volkswagen so far has only been able to sell 620 cars of Beetle since the December 2009 launch whereas Fiat only 100 cars of the Fiat 500. Schaaf, however, sees things differently. He says he sees a change in the Indian car market. He goes on to say that annually BMW were selling around 20,000 of luxury cars and consumers now were willing to spend cash on smaller well-known brands. He tells Mini completely defines itself and feels the Indian market is now more mature for luxurious small premium cars.
There are other manufacturers who want to showcase their small cars in the upcoming Auto Expo in Delhi next year with Merc set to introduce their B Class and Audi, their A3. Like all the other BMW markets in the world, Mini would be traded as a unique brand with plenty of options when it comes to customisation regardless of other BMW’s cars like the 7 series, 5 series and X5/X6 SUVs.
Schaaf further told BMW plans to market the Mini as a sporty car that would have iconic values. The Mini would be looked as a small but very masculine brand that would be placed as a high performing car with customisation options.