BMW India has created a fair amount of popularity among the higher segment of Indians who prefer the German brand as their day-to-day source of mobility. The company, which became the top luxury car maker in India before Audi and Mercedes Benz, is now looking to consolidate its position even more. BMW has decided to bring in its entry level car, the 1 series, next year. Ammar Alvi finds out more.
The top management of BMW has been discussing for a while whether it would be viable for the company to get into the numbers game and offer Indian customers its entry level models starting with the 1 Series range. However the company strongly feels that it is the right time for them to bring their small cars to India as there is a strong market. The German auto giant has confirmed that the 1 Series hatch will make its Indian debut in 2013 and would be assembled at BMW India’s Chennai facility which currently assembles the 3 Series and 5 Series sedans, the X1 compact SUV and the diesel X3. This move will allow BMW India to price the new 1 Series very competitively. The company is also gearing up to increase its capacity which, at current 11,000 units, may not be enough once the sales of 1 Series start picking up. Though it looks small the 1 Series is out and out driver’s car and extremely spacious compared to other models. Being a rear wheel drive it is extremely agile, powerful and a perfect day-to-day car.
The company is planning to bring in the model with two engine configurations. A 1.6 petrol unit is pumping 136bhp and 170bhp and a 2.0 diesel unit producing 116bhp, 143bhp and 184bhp depending on the kind of version you choose. BMW is yet to decide which exact engine configuration the small car will bear when it gets launched in India. The company is hoping that it will be liked by many BMW enthusiasts who will, thanks to its aggressive price and features, prefer it to others especially the new Mercedes Benz A class which is also due to be launched next year.