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MINI to launch in India early 2012

Mon, 17 Oct 2011

MINI to launch in India early 2012

For some reason, we assumed that the MINI was already sold in India. But it isn’t. But from early 2012 you’ll be able to pop down two one of two showrooms in Delhi, or one in Mumbai, and pick up a MINI from the first showrooms to stock the motoring icon in India.

BMW, it seems, did have plans to launch MINI in India back in 2009, but it would seem the uncertainty in the world economy, and the retail cost of a MINI built outside India and then imported to India, would be just too expensive for the local market.

What’s changed in the intervening few years is not that import duties have changed for cars going in to India, but the Indian market has continued to lap up European cars even at premium prices. And other car markets around the world are slowing.

So BMW are keen to cash in on the rising wealth of the Indian middle classes by offering them an iconic ‘British’ MINI, albeit at rather iconic prices.

Although BMW hasn’t yet made its mind up exactly which iterations of the MINI they’ll be shipping to the sub-continent (and they have plenty of choice), they do say starting prices will be from 25 Lakh. Which translates in to around £32.5k. And that’s bound to be for the entry-level MINI, which in the UK would only be £12k.

And when you compare the likely price of the MINI in India to something like the recently revealed Hyundai Eon, which is a proper little car, it gives some context to the MINI’s premium price – you could buy almost 10 Hyundai Eons for the price of one MINI.

But this is all about pandering to the middle classes in India wanting ‘Brands’ on what they buy. And despite what you may think about the exorbitant price of a MINI in India being a result of BMW’s greed, you’d probably be wrong – import duty will make up most of the difference between a UK and Indian price for a MINI.

But don’t bet against BMW setting up a MINI assembly plant if business takes off.

Source: Money Control India

By Cars UK