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Old 26th July 2012, 05:41   #16
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Default Re: BMW may assemble Mini locally to reduce prices

Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I don't see the logic of launching a CBU model at an inflated price and then reducing the price once it goes CKD. I mean- I get the reason but it's a fail planning-wise. When you launch a product, you need to price it as per a business plan. Which means you take into account future localisation etc. and come up with a price that is appropriate, perhaps taking a hit on margins on the CBUs initially to build the market.

Imagine if I go buy a 25 lac car today and that same car is available for 16L tomorrow. I will feel like a fool and in one fell swoop the perceived premiumness of the vehicle is destroyed. It doesn't have to be a Cooper. Take the Fortuner: if the price dropped suddenly, there will be a million happy souls like me who would probably rush to the nearest Toyota showroom with a chequebook, but it will kill those proud and happy owners who spent so much more to acquire it.

Am pretty skeptical BMW will reduce the Mini's price so drastically. Maybe the higher variants may become a litle more affordable but at the entry level, I believe they will maintain their pricing.
In theory what you say is correct, in practice , the uncertainties are too many especially in establishing niche segment products. After all a Mini from BMW is a high end accessory like a piece of jewellery or a phone. It all about what you will pay to be "in". And fashion itself is unpredictable.

It would not be the first time this has been done. Honda has already done this with the Jazz and City. Harley Davidson has done this. In the smart phone business , this is a regular affair.

Agreed it hurts current owners , in the long term it's good for everyone if the company can afford the price reduction.

For BMW it's all about AUDI.
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Old 27th July 2012, 18:29   #17
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Default Re: BMW may assemble Mini locally to reduce prices

It isn't just about the reduction of prices that needs to be taken into account here. 25 lakhs for the Cooper and the 28 lakhs for the Cooper S may not sound so bad when you consider the fact that the Beetle is not far off, and is actually a few notches lower than the Mini with regard to everything from quality to performance to handling, etc.

Book your Mini Cooper S today @ 28 lakhs by visiting the showroom, and you'll have this list of optional-extras that you simply can't ignore. The panoramic sunroof, the Mini MID, the leather kits, the metallic-paint options, etc. By the time you're done with the list, you'll probably have to shell out a good 15 lakhs more just to have it on the road - kitted-out, registered, insured, taxed and everything.

That's 43 lakhs for a Mini Cooper S. 43 lakhs today would get you a brand new BMW F10 3-Series with options and everything. It's got back-seats, a boot, a diesel engine, and it's a BMW! The petrol option - 2.0 4-pot twin-scroll turbocharged mill is mated to a 6-speed manual and that sends over 240 horses to the rear-wheels. What a mouth-watering prospect that would be! And all this for 38-45 lakhs. Why would anyone want to buy a Cooper S at the same price-point?

Only the true enthusiast will go in for it. Of course, even the enthusiast might think twice. Why?...

...if there is ever something I'd want to see, it would be a manual-transmission option for our market. They should make it available, even if on request only. Not only will the MT be cheaper to buy than the AT, it should be more fun!

Sure, the AT gives you the best of both Worlds, but an enthusiast (who has saved up 50 lakhs of his hard earned money) would rather consider a BMW 328i.

So it would be great if BMW plans on assembling the Mini here. But how long is it going to take? Would it be too late? The new generation Mini has been caught testing and is slated for production in 2014. Would it be feasible for BMW to assemble a product that is nearing the end of its generation-cycle?
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Old 27th July 2012, 18:48   #18
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Default Re: BMW may assemble Mini locally to reduce prices

If the Mini Cooper S had been offered with a manual transmission in India, I would already have bought one at their asking price. But the idea that they would offer the Cooper in India without that option tells me that it is expected to be sold only to well off posers, not to driving enthusiasts.

And I think they are right. Indians are posers, not drivers, not even most of the supposed enthusiasts. The number of people in India who will judge a petrol, manual transmission mini cooper S at 28lacs a relatively very affordable way to get into one of the most fun to drive cars in the world is infinitesmal.

The MOST important reason for a mini to exist is the fun to drive aspect of the manual variant. When that is not even offered and there is hardly any complaining in the Indian auto "enthusiasts" press or the online "enthusiast" communities, and instead people want to talk of diesel variants and very cheap prices, I don't know what to think other than that BMW has understood this market very well. Give them flash, give them prestige, give them features, procure for them the attention and admiration of their neighbors and their friends, and they'll give you their money with a big smile on their faces.

Who cares if there are few cars in the world that are more fun to heel toe down from 4th to 2nd under heavy trail braking heading at the apex of a screaming reducing radius curve.

Last edited by Harbir : 27th July 2012 at 18:50.
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Old 27th July 2012, 23:19   #19
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Default Re: BMW may assemble Mini locally to reduce prices

Originally Posted by DukeNukem View Post
The iconic Mini Cooper might just become more reasonably priced. Unconfirmed reports suggest that BMW, its parent company, is planning to assemble a part of the Mini range in India, in order to reduce costs levied via import duties.

Currently the cars are being imported as CBU (Completely Built Units) which attracts over a 100% duty. In effect, that doubles the price of the car.
This is good news if it really brings down the price. Especially a sub 25 lakhs Countryman can actually bring in some good numbers.

Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
And not to forget, we don't get basic safety systems as standard or the bells and whistles that are normally available in the other markets where such cars are being sold for sometime now.
Not so much for the premium brands. From what I know these brands come all the bells and whistles as sold abroad. What is lacking maybe the plethora of customization options.

Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Am pretty skeptical BMW will reduce the Mini's price so drastically. Maybe the higher variants may become a litle more affordable but at the entry level, I believe they will maintain their pricing.
Good point. More than actual price reduction, an extended price band with various trim levels sounds more like a possibility starting with a basic Mini One.
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Old 28th July 2012, 02:19   #20
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Default Re: BMW may assemble Mini locally to reduce prices

While I think it's a good idea to get the mini as CKD here I think BMW has better options of the range to give priority. Mini even as CKD will be very niche and a lifestyle vehicle but an X5 in CKD would fetch better volumes. It's good that they have begun assembling the 7 here, I think the x5 has greater potential. The x5 is due for a complete makeover next year perhaps then they would get assembling the new one here.
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