BMW is gearing up for a manufacturing joint venture in India, the fourth-largest car market in Asia, according to the Calcutta-based Telegraph newspaper.
The paper reported that BMW senior vice-president Lueder Paysen said in Singapore that the company had opened talks with Indian firms for a possible venture though he refused to disclose the name of the prospective partner beyond saying that a decision will be taken in six months.
Industry sources told the Telegraph that BMW has sounded out the Munjals of the Hero group for a 50:50 venture. The sources reportedly said the Munjals are interested in entering the passenger car market with BMW following their huge success in bikes with the Honda group of Japan. This, however, could not be confirmed since the Munjals were unavailable for comment, the paper added.
Sources told the Telegraph the Indian car building venture would initially be a local assembly operation, with the premium 5-series sold in both petrol and diesel versions.
Later, the Telegraph added, BMW would set up a fully-fledged manufacturing unit that would build vehicles with a local content of around 64%.
BMW already sells its 3, 5 and 7 series cars through importers in Delhi and Mumbai, the paper said.
“We are looking at the possibility of setting up a plant. We hope the feasibility study proceeds well and that the results are in line with our expectations. All will depend on the study,” a BMW spokesperson told the Telegraph from Dubai.