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With the luxury car and mid-size car market growing rapidly, it makes sense that the BMW group has introduced its MINI brand to India.
MINI has brought four models with them for their Indian debut: the MINI Cooper, the MINI Cooper S, the MINI Cooper Convertible and the Clubman. Kay Segler, senior vice-president of MINI brand management and business coordination said, “We are not looking at volumes initially in India. We are looking to build the MINI brand. The MINI cars will feature 1.6 liter petrol engines. There is no plan of diesel engines for time being.”
MINI has looked at making this move in the past, but up until now has felt that the country and market were not ready for them. “More Indians are traveling and living abroad, they have network overseas and are more aware of trends,” Segler said. For the time being the cars will be distributed from three exclusive MINI dealers, two of them are in New Delhi and one will be in Mumbai.
All of India’s MINI’s will be assembled in the UK with no talk of an Indian assembly plant in the near future. The Indian prices for the MINI will range from Rs 24.90 lakh to Rs 31.99 lakh.
Beleaguered Indian truck manufacturer Mahindra has had their American launch delayed indefinitely, thanks to a series of legal battles between Mahindra and vehicle importer Global Vehicle Sales USA.
Global Vehicles argues that Mahindra wrongfully terminated the contract between the two companies. “The bottom line here is Mahindra now believes this is a huge project. They want us out of the way so they can go direct and save the money we were going to make,” Global Vehicles chief executive John Perez told the AP on Friday.
Mahindra’s managing director, Anand Mahindra said that the company has “no date” for entering the U.S.
[Source: Associated Press]
India’s Tata Motors is back in the black after rising demand for the Land Rover and Jaguar cars, as well demand in India for Tata products. The Tata group posted an overall profit of $543 million, compared to last year’s loss of $535 million. Tata was able to beat analyst expectations of a $321 million profit, thanks in part to Jaguar and Land Rover raking in their own profit of $46 million.
Land Rover recently fired 2,200 workers and hired a new manager away from General Motors Europe to help them back on the road to profitability. However, analysts are still skeptical about the economic conditions in Europe, and whether they are conducive to a recovery for the British luxury maker.
“Europe is in doldrums and that is a big worry for Tata Motors since it is a big market for Jaguar Land Rover,” said Umesh Karne, an analyst at BRICS Securities Ltd in Mumbai. “Until Europe stabilizes, Jaguar Land Rover will be under pressure.”
[Source: Automotive News]