BMW to make Mini Countryman at Chennai plant
April 17, 2013: The BMW Group has announced that the BMW India plant at Chengalpet, near Chennai, will start producing the Mini Countryman here, for the first time outside of Europe. The move comes barely a year after the brand made its entry into the Indian market.
Following a drop in demand for premium priced cars in India, the company aims to lower production cost through local manufacturing and, consequently, offer the Mini at a more affordable price point. This will be the first instance of the British brand’s cars being rolled off the assembly line outside of Europe.
The locally produced Mini Countryman will be offered in two diesel variants – Mini Cooper D Countryman and Mini Cooper D Countryman High – which are currently not on sale in India. A new petrol version, Mini One Countryman, will also be produced locally. At present, the Countryman range pricing starts at Rs 23.5 lakh and goes up to Rs 37.50 lakh (ex-showroom).
Other models like the petrol Mini Cooper Countryman, Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S and Mini Cooper Convertible will continue to be imported here through the CBU route.
In early 2012, Mini opened its first five showrooms in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, making India the 100th market in its global sales network. Between March and December 2012, a total of 302 cars were sold here in the country.
BMW’s Chennai production plant was built in March 2007 and produces the 3-series and 5-series saloons as well as the X1 and X3 SUV models.