World's largest premium carmaker BMW is ready to compete with Mercedes head-on in the fast growing Indian luxury car market with plans to overtake its German rival in the coming few years.
"We have far exceeded our performance in India with 1,387 units sold last year. As we get closer to Mercedes, you can imagine we have in our sight that we want to overtake Mercedes, whether we do it in 2009 or 2010 we will have to see," BMW Director Region Asia Pacific David Panton told reporters in Tokyo.
He said the Indian customers have accepted the BMW brand well and the company's future growth in the country would depend upon how the market develops.
BMW operates out of an assembly unit in Chennai, Tamil Nadu where it makes 3 and 5 series sedans which started production in March 2007. It had initially set a target to sell 1,000 units in the April-December period of 2007 but owed to the expanding market and encouraging response to its brand, the company sold 1,387 units.
The company, which has set a target to sell 2,000 units in the Indian market in calendar year 2008, is closing in fast on sales of Mercedes. Mercedes has been assembling cars in India since the mid 90's and sold 2,491 units in the country in 2007. It plans to sell as many as 3,000 cars in the country in the current calendar year.
BMW considers Indian market as a more stable and reliable market vis-à-vis China where the carmaker reported a 36.6 per cent growth last year with sales touching 61,000 units.