2019 was a year that the Indian automobile industry would prefer to forget, what with consumer sentiment down, a slowing economy and other growth-impacting challenges. The downturn has adversely affected all vehicle segments and despite quite a few new car launches, the sales numbers for the luxury vehicle segment too are down year on year. BMW Group India, which comprises BMW and Mini, recorded cumulative sales of 9,641 units in CY2019, down 13.1 percent down on 2018's 11,105 units, and also lower than the 9,800 units sold in 2017.
BMW India sold a total of 9,000 units in 2019, down 13.5 percent on 2018’s 10,405 units. Interestingly, three locally assembled SUVs – the X1, X3 and X5 – contributed 50 percent to the German luxury carmaker’s sales in 2019. The 3 Series and 5 Series sedans also made a “significant contribution” to the numbers. BMW had a busy 2019 that saw the market introduction of the M5 Competition, the seventh-generation 3 Series, the 7 Series facelift, the X7 (its new flagship SUV), the all-new X5, a new diesel variant of the 6 Series GT, the all-new Z4 and the X4 SUV-coupe.
BMW India will be looking to better its performance in 2020 and has lined up a couple of launches including the next-gen M3 and M4, 2 Series Gran Coupe and 8 Series Gran Coupe, along with SUVs like the X1 facelift, X2 and the X6.
The Mini brand sold 641 cars in 2019, down on 2018’s tally of 700 units. The Cooper hatchback and Countryman crossover accounted for 70 percent of Mini India’s 2019 sales.
Meanwhile, BMW's two-wheeler division, BMW Motorrad, saw a 10 percent increase in sales over the year. It sold 2,403 units over 2019, up on 2018's figure of 2,187 units. While the entry-level BMW bikes – the G 310 R and the G 310 GS – contributed to 85 percent of overall sales, the R 1250 GS / GSA, F 750 / 850 GS and the S 1000 RR brought in the rest of the sales.
Rudratej Singh, President and CEO, BMW Group India, said: “2019 was not an easy year for the Indian automotive industry as various macroeconomic and structural conditions shook its foundations. BMW Group India stood its ground in this fierce environment with a slew of superior performing new products and very aspirational and desirable brands. We successfully initiated new consumers to come into the segment with the BMW 3 Series and the BMW X1. At the same time, we created a clear path for upgrade for segment users with the X5, 6 Series Gran Turismo and the 7 Series. We have a healthy order book for the X7, which is sold out for months. Though the industry is still facing difficult times, we are well prepared for 2020. We will always be competitive by remaining focused on our customers.”
BMW is likely to retain its position as India’s second best-selling luxury carmaker in India, behind Mercedes-Benz that is yet to officially announce 2019 numbers. Among the luxury carmakers in India, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Lexus and Volvo are also expected to reveal 2019 sales numbers in the days to come. Stay tuned.