BMW deliveries take time: We are having trouble as the demand for the six-cylinder diesel model caught us by surprise. As regards the X1, we are ramping up production at the Chennai plant. Later this year, waiting periods are expected to come down to a month, which I think is quite reasonable.
Response to BMW Financial Services: We are getting an excellent response. Today, one in two BMW cars is financed by BMW Financial Services. This helps us manage the customer relationship better as we know about the loan periods and make offers to them accordingly.
On rising sales in small-town India: Our Goa dealership is one of the best-designed in the country. Raipur will see growing demand in the next few years. Some of our sales points have done better than expected. For instance, our Cochin dealer is doing so well that we are opening dealerships in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode too. However, opening so many of them means that I am always on the road, and life has been quite hectic of late.
|The 'Baby' Beamer|
The BMW X1 is selling like hot cakes. To find out why, we took the X1 2.0d Exclusive on a drive.
This is a BMW you can buy without robbing a bank. Ultimately, the important thing about a BMW is not its driving performance but the badge. While the Beamer will put a smile on your face, thanks to its fairly responsive, compact engine and great handling, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, the car is not that big. In fact, it has to be selfdriven as the rear seats are best enjoyed by children, as there is little legroom. Second, the 'exclusive' variant we test-drove is priced quite steeply at `30.4 lakh ex-showroom - `22.4 lakh for the base petrol and `24.4 lakh for the base diesel model. A Hyundai Santa Fe or Toyota Fortuner would make better sense, but then these do not have the brand pull of the Beamer. And for that reason alone, it may be a decent buy.