German luxury carmaker BMW will locally produce its electric vehicles in India, and it is just a matter of time as the company’s vehicles continue to gain traction in the market, according to a senior company official.
BMW, which saw 9 per cent of its sales in India coming from EVs in the first half of 2023, expects to reach up to 25 per cent by 2025.
“As the volumes grow, as we have done with every other product, we will localize them (EVS), and we will produce them (locally),” BMW Group India President Vikram Pawah told PTI in an interview.
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The localization of EVs in India has two aspects, “one is the volume here, and the other one is the technology”, he noted.
“It is just a matter of time. There has to be some inertia of the volumes and stability. We’re seeing good signs now. It’s still early days…We have delivered only 500 cars across four models in the first six months, that is still small from that perspective, but it is clearly growing fast,” Pawah said.
He was responding to a query on BMW’s plans for locally producing its EVs in India.
BMW’s electric vehicles include models like the i7, iX, i4 and MINI SE.
“We sold over 500 cars in the first half (of 2023), which is 46 per cent more than what we sold in the entire year last year…We are the absolute leaders in the premium electric vehicles segment because we have over 50 per cent market share,” he said, adding the company’s iX is the best-selling battery electric vehicle in the Indian market.
On the other aspect of technology, he said it needs to be stabilized as well.
“We, as BMW, are already on a generation five batteries because we started way back in 2013. We are not new to this technology. We have already progressed so far that we are already into generation five of this technology, and we are already working on generation six. So we’ll make a decision about what is the right time, which one to localize at which time…It will be soon,” Pawah said.
When asked about the outlook for EVs contribution to the company’s total sales in India, he said, “At the moment, it’s only 8-9 per cent of our sales, but we’ll grow it further…I think clearly 15 per cent is a very close number that’ll happen next year, and by 2025, we could be looking at somewhere between 20 to 25 per cent”.
In the first half of 2023, BMW’s total luxury car sales, comprising BMW and MINI brands, in India stood at 5,867 units.
With BMW’s EV global lineup also coming into India going forward, Pawah said, “Once you have so much variety, of course, the percentage will increase”.