BMW is opening a plant in India

Here’s the best tidbit from the article I found:

“The Indian automobile market offers significant growth potential in the long term. With our increased presence there, we will be well positioned to fully tap into this potential,” Chief Executive Helmut Panke said in a statement.Well, duh. All those Indian IT workers are going to need fancy cars to buy once their salaries get more in line with the rest of the world.

Are other automobile manufacturers listening?

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3 thoughts on “BMW is opening a plant in India

  • November 3, 2005 at 8:47 am

    That’s interesting. I wonder whether opening a plant is a precondition to doing business in the local market.

    The fact is, a lot of machinery got "good enough" decades ago. For instance, there are tractors made in India which are manufactured using International Harvester machinery and designs from decades ago. They are being sold world-wide too. They don’t compete with new designs, but they’re a lot cheaper. Big in the hobby-farmer market, and some straightforward unsophisticated workhorse applications.

    If I were BMW, I’d be very interested in getting minor royalties on major numbers of vehicles built on obsolete twenty year-old equipment and designs. That idea in a population of over 1,000 million people has to be worth some thought. They don’t have to be priced like BMWs – just whatever makes a profit locally. Once they got it rolling, there could be export sales that were bigger than the Indian market. Perhaps that’s where the Indian BMW plant could come in – putting a modern veneer on twenty year-old designs, then selling them under an Indian non-BMW badge to compete with the Hyundais and Daewoos.

    • November 3, 2005 at 12:10 pm

      That’s a very interesting idea. I wonder if Volkswagen is still producing the original Beetle in South America? I know they were as recently as 10 years ago. It’s the same idea: Simple and affordable, and a design that’s been proven for 50 years.

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