The cost considered is around X1 – in the Rs 25-35 lakh range. The company hopes to lure enthusiasts with high-end performance versions on offer, according to Dr Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW India. To begin with the company will import the vehicles as completely-built units. “We will focus on the high-end market for performance-oriented engines,” he said. By January-March 2012, two Mini showrooms will open in Delhi, with a third in Mumbai. By end of next year, Pune, Chandigarh, Chennai and Bangalore will also see dealerships.
Mini was initially developed as a small city car by the British Motor Corporation. It was bought by BMW in 1994 along with the Rover Group. The current larger (in size) Mini cars bear almost no technical relation to the original car, though they feature a similar design language. The BMW Group already sells the BMW, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad (two-wheeler) brands in India, though the last two are imported through independent channels. Only one brand is left without an Indian presence – Husqvarna motorcycles. After much discussion at the BMW Board level over the last few years, almost the entire range of the British brand is now expected to be showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo in January next year. “We will showcase the entire range at the Auto Expo and will focus initially on brand-building,” said Dr Schaaf.