In the Indian car market, for the year 2012, BMW has managed to stave off a close challenge from competitor and compatriot Audi. BMW has led the Indian car market for the last four years. BMW India sold 9,375 units in 2012, when compared to 9003 units sold by Audi India. That Audi has come within striking distance of BMW India’s leadership position is testament to the big sales growth that the Volkswagen group owned Audi has managed in India, over its rivals BMW and Mercedes Benz. Audi’s sales for 2012 have leapt by a full 63%.
On the other hand, BMW India’s 2012 sales of 9,375 units represents flat sales for the German luxury car brand, which also happens to be market leader globally, in terms of sales. This flat growth will be a cause for concern at BMW India given the fact that Audi has gone so well in 2012. Audi India is aiming to topple BMW from its top perch in India by 2015. Meanwhile, the other big luxury car giant from Germany, Mercedes Benz, continues to play third fiddle. 2012 will see a slew of car launches from BMW and Mercedes Benz, while Audi is set to mainly launch facelifted car models during the course of the next 12 months.
Tomorrow, Audi India will launch the facelifted Q5 crossover. One of its best selling car models in India, the Q5 crossover’s mid career facelift is a move to consolidate the strong sales of this luxury crossover. Audi India’s sales growth over the past couple of years has been led by its luxury crossover range, which now comprises of the Q3, Q5 and Q7 models. BMW India will kick of 2013 with the launch of the facelifted X1 crossover, which also happens to be BMW’s best selling car model in India. The X1 will be followed by the facelifted 2013 7-Series luxury saloon.
BMW will end 2012 with the launch of another big volume product, the 1-Series hatchback. All three aforementioned BMWs will be assembled in India through CKD kits, to make for competitive pricing. Mercedes Benz, for its part, is expected to launch the diesel variant of the B-Class in the next few months. The A-Class sports hatchback is another big volume launch that Mercedes Benz is looking at for 2013. The year is also expected to see the arrival of he 2014 facelifted E-Class luxury sedan and the GL-Class luxury SUV. The AMG-spec 2013 Mercedes Benz G-Class off roader will also be launched in India. So, Mercedes Benz India could have the most new launches among the Teuton trio for 2013.