BMW plans more EVs for India amid growing demand

BMW is evaluating launching more battery electric vehicles (EVs) in India due to growing demand from luxury car buyers, the German automaker’s country president Vikram Pawah told Reuters in an interview.

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Updated on:
February 1, 2023 at 08:35 am

Launched on January 7 this year, the BMW i7 electric sedan is the third electric vehicle from the Indian automaker.

“By the end of 2023, we will have 25 electrification products (globally), half of which will be fully electrified. Our aim is to evaluate each of these 12 electrification products for the Indian market,” Pawah said.

BMW already sells three electric vehicles in India. If supply chain issues are alleviated, which Pawah expects to happen by 2023, electric vehicles could account for more than 10% of BMW’s total sales by 2023.

Semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions due to pandemic-related lockdowns and the war in Ukraine have hit global auto production, but the situation appears to be easing.

India is largely a small low-cost car market, with luxury models accounting for just 1% of total sales of 3.8 million units in 2022. The luxury EV market is smaller and largely untested, but demand is growing.

At a time when Tesla has decided to stay out due to high import taxes on electric vehicles, BMW and rival Mercedes are looking to capitalize on the demand.

Mercedes has launched three electric vehicles in India in 2022, including a locally assembled electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan, and expects electric vehicles to account for 25% of its total sales in the next five years.

According to Pawah, BMW aims to have at least half of its global sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and clean cars are expected to spread rapidly in India.

In 2022, BMW’s total sales in India will rise by about 35% to nearly 12,000 units, a record high. But it still trailed Mercedes, which had a record year in India, with sales up 41 percent to nearly 16,000 vehicles.

First published date: Feb 1, 2023 at 08:35 AM CST

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