BMW to assemble Mini cars in India

Minis in the forecourt of a dealership BMW began selling the Mini in India last year

Related Stories

BMW is to begin building the Mini in India, in a move that suggests confidence in the country's emerging car market.

The German carmaker said Mini Countryman models would be rolling off the production line at its plant in the port city of Chennai later this year.

It described India as an "increasingly significant market" for the BMW Group,

Car sales in India have grown rapidly in recent years, attracting investment from major brands.

BMW has operated its own sales company in India since 2007, and began selling the Mini in the country in 2012.

It sold just over 300 Minis in the first year.

Savings on tariffs

BMW said the decision to move production there was in line with its "production follows the market" strategy.

Analysts suggest the move will help BMW save on import duties.

Mini's strategy

  • The Mini factory in Cowley will remain at the heart of the carmaker's operations
  • BMW Group is increasingly making cars close to where its customers are
  • The Indian market is central to Mini's growth strategy

India charges 100% tariffs on the import of fully built cars, but just 30% on cars assembled domestically from imported parts.

Currently, the Mini is built in the UK and Austria, while BMW's Chennai plant already makes several BMW models for the Indian market.

Weaker market

Mini's move suggests growing confidence in the Indian market, where car ownership is just 1.5 cars per 100 people in one of the world's fastest growing economies.

But although sales have risen strongly in recent years, the latest figures suggest the market is experiencing a sharp slow-down.

Figures released last week by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed sales fell by 6.7% over the last 12 months - the first fall in a decade.

That has forced some domestic brands to cut production and showroom prices.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.