And rightly so: with the second-largest population in the world, India represents huge sales opportunities. At over a million square miles in size, however, creating a dealer network to reach them is almost impossible.
BMW has come up with an innovative solution to the problem, though – touring its vehicles around the vast country in a mobile showroom.
The weather-proof, air conditioned structure is designed to feel similar to BMW’s usual showrooms – bringing some of the brand’s usual luxuries to areas of the country outside of its current network.
Buyers can test drive a number of models – the X1, 3, 5 and 6 Series – and can chat with ‘product experts’ in a VIP lounge.
The mobile showroom also gives BMW the perfect opportunity to test particular areas of the country for take-up before establishing a fully-fledged dealership in that location.
Currently the group has around 28 showrooms in the country, but is said to be looking to expand – with dozens more to follow by the end of next year.
Philipp von Sahr, president of BMW group India, highlighted the fact that BMW was the first luxury maker to bring products directly to customers in this way.
‘BMW India is the pioneer in bringing luxurious dealerships to India,’ he said. ‘We are the first luxury car manufacturer in India to take this experience a step ahead and closer to our customers in the emerging markets with the BMW Mobile Showroom.
‘Today, BMW India has millions of fans and many of them come from emerging cities. With this unique travelling showroom, we wish to bring as many customers to the BMW fold and make them experience BMW and the sheer driving pleasure.’