Pune: German luxury car maker BMW today launched the locally produced SUV, X5xDrvie, at Rs 70.9 lakh ex-showroom, national.
The 3-litre diesel machine was unveiled by Sachin Tendulkar, who is also BMW India’s brand ambassador. The cricket icon said he has been using the first generation X5 since 2002.
Rolled out from its Chennai plant, the all new X5xDrive30d, is around Rs 10 lakh cheaper than the previous imported models.
The price is lower mainly on account of local sourcing of equipment. It was selling the previous model, which the company discontinued over a year ago, at 80.6 lakh.
The all new X5 will be available at all the 38 dealers of BMW from next month, BMW Group India President Philipp von Sahr told reporters here at the launch.
The BMW X5xDrive30d is the third generation of its most successful ‘sports activity vehicles’, globally launched two months ago in the US and Europe.
India is the fourth market after the US, Russia, Thailand and Malaysia where BMW rolls out the X series.
Sahr said the X5 is nick-named ‘The Boss’ for its sheer market dominance, having sold 1.3 million globally since debut in 1999.
The new X5 delivers increased space, better comfort and enhanced driving pleasure, luxury, and efficiency and innovative equipment features.
When asked about the local sourcing for the X5, Sahr refused to share details but said BMW Group has 30 OEM vendors in the country and has been sourcing equipment from here for its global supply chain, including, the US, for many years now.
The company does not manufacture the X Series anywhere in Europe, including the home market Germany.
The X5xDrive is the third launch by the company this year after the M6-Grand Coupe and 3 Series GT since January.
BMW sells the imported models like the 6 Series Gran Coupe, the X6, the Z4 and the M6 Gran Coupe through its 38 dealers. Sahr said the number of dealerships will touch 50 by December, 2015.
Sahr said the company will be launching 6-8 models through the rest of the year such as the M3 Sedan, the M4 Coupe and the M5 Sedan.
It may be noted that after being the market leader in India in the luxe car space for three years continuously, BMW lost its market leadership to two other German rivals— the late entrant Audi and Mercedes Benz in recent years.
In fact, Audi has been so successful that it has even pushed Merc to the second slot last year.
The BMW Group has three brands in the country the BMW, the MINI and the Rolls-Royce, and has so far invested Rs 390 crore (51.8 million euros) in the Chennai plant, which has an installed capacity of 13,000 units per annum, which Sahr said is being ramped up to 17,000 units shortly.
But he did not put a timeline for this or investment plans.
The BMW Group introduced the MINI as a premium brand in the country in January 2012 with the launch of the Hatch, the Convertible and the Countryman.