On a hot afternoon in May I was invited to the BMW Plant in Chennai, it wasn’t a launch or a facelift but something bigger. The German automaker had achieved a staggering 50% localisation for cars assembled at its massive state of the art plant. Using parts sourced from local partners upto eight car models (1, 3, 5, 7 Series, 3 GT, X1, X3 and the X5) can be locally produced at the plants two assembly lines. Commemorating this occasion was none other than the god of cricket – Sachin Tendulkar who along with some plant technicians assembled a 5 Series – A 520D to be precise.
“I am an avid BMW enthusiast and have been driving BMW cars since a very long time. But the experience of making a BMW with my own hands was unique and unforgettable. I am impressed by the high quality standards followed at BMW Plant Chennai that ensure the impeccable performance of a BMW. I got the opportunity to go through the tiniest details and efforts that are put into making a BMW. Next time I take my BMW out, I can proudly say – I have made one!” said Tendulkar.
Among-st the host of components sourced some of the major ones are – Engine and Transmission from Force Motors; Axles from ZF Hero Chassis; Door Panels and Wiring Harness from Draexlmaier India; Exhaust Systems from Tenneco Automotive India; Heating, Ventilating, Air-conditioning and Cooling Modules from Valeo India and Mahle Behr and Seats from Lear India.
2015 will see 15 new models from the automaker, starting with the i8, X5M, X6M, X6, 6 Series Grand Coupe, new 1 series, new 7 series and more.
BMW will aim for further localisation and produce more models locally in a bid to improve profitability. However inspite of the localisation the pricing for your Ultimate Driving Machine will remain the same.