A year after introducing its popular 'MINI' range of cars in India, luxury car maker BMW has begun the local production of 'MINI Countryman' at the facility in Chennai.
"A new chapter is set to be written in MINI's global success story as cars from the British premium brand roll off an assembly line outside Europe for the first time. The Group on Wednesday announced the commencement of local production of MINI Countryman at BMW Plant near Chennai," BMW India said in a statement.
BMW Chennai plant, spread on a 40-acre land at MahindraWorldCity in Singaperumalkoil, currently produces BMW 3 series, BMW 5 series, BMW X1, BMW X3.
Besides MINI Cooper, the company in 2013 will also produce BMW 7 series and the BMW 1 series, the statement said.
"With the production of MINI Countryman at the BMW Plant Chennai, MINI is the first premium small car to be locally manufactured in India and expects significant growth over the medium and long-term," it said.
The cars manufactured from the facility would fulfil the same quality standards that apply to production of BMW group models worldwide, it said.
The new MINI local production facility has been brought on stream just a year after the start of MINI sales in India and would help meet the growing demand, it said.
To be introduced in two diesel variants - MINI Cooper D Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman High in India, the company said, the Chennai facility would also produce petrol variant.
However, the car maker said the MINI Cooper S Countryman, MINI Cooper S Countryman High would be imported in India as a completely built units along with the petrol variants of MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S, MINI Convertible.
The MINI Cooper range of cars currently available in India are priced between Rs 26.6 lakh (Rs 2.66 million) for the base variant and Rs 37.50 lakh (Rs 3.75 million) for the top-end model.
India is the 100th market for the sales of BMW MINI and the car maker has established five exclusive outlets in the country, the release added.