CHENNAI: BMW India will launch the i8 concept plug-in hybrid electric car, featured in Tom Cruise-starrer Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, according to Robert Frittrang, managing director of the auto giant’s Chennai plant. However, he refused to give a timeframe for its launch but indicated that it could fructify in the second half of 2015.
Speaking to Express on the sidelines of the Chennai edition of the BMW Golf Cup International 2015, he said i8 represented the technical prowess and engineering heights which BMW could scale. The German carmaker will also roll out its M-series variants in 2015. Although the production model of i8 would differ from the one used by the Hollywood superstar on screen, BMW launching the vehicle in India points to the business progress the German auto giant has been making. However, BMW refused to be drawn into the numbers game even as its competitors Audi and Mercedes recorded sales in excess of 10,000 units for the year 2014. Audi managed the feat for the second year in a row.
“We are not interested in absolute numbers. As far as BMW is concerned, it is the profit margin and not the number of units sold which matter. The numbers are irrelevant,” Frittrang maintained.
“But, the launch of new models will help us gain more market share. However, profitability remains the key. Besides, customer satisfaction and loyalty are top on our agenda,” he said.
The i8 Concept is a two-door coupe and has been praised worldwide for its stunning futuristic design features which doesn’t compromise on quality. The i8 is sold in the US market priced at $135,700.