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BMW keeps top slot in lux race

autos Updated: Jan 11, 2011 00:19 IST
HT Correspondent

The German automotive giant, BMW has retained its number 1 position in the luxury car segment in India in 2010, despite a relentless onslaught throughout the year from rival Mercedes Benz, which launched as many as 18 models during the year.

BMW sold 6,246 cars last year, a 73% increase over 2009 when it had sold 3,619 cars. Mercedes and Audi, its two main rivals did not do too bad either. Mercedes despatched 5,819 cars to its dealerships, an 80% growth over the previous year while actual sales are estimated at 5,776 units during the year. Audi sold 3,003 cars, 81% more than its tally of 1,658 cars in 2009.

“We are glad that we managed to retain our pole position in 2010, a feat we first achieved in 2009 and are now confident of maintaining our leadership in future,” said Andreas Schaaf, president, BMW India. “When we started the year our target was to sell 4,200 cars during the year. The fact that we exceeded that by some margin shows how strong the demand is in India and how strong our brand is.”

In terms of growth, India is now one of the top three markets for BMW globally with only China and South Korea ahead of it.

Mercedes, which had suffered a decline in sales in 2009 that eventually led to it ceding its leadership position to BMW, bounced back strongly in 2010 with almost all its models doing much better than in the previous year. The stellar performance however, was not good enough to dethrone BMW.

Audi, long considered the dark horse in the race also remained steadfast in achieving its ambition of becoming the market leader.

“We have had a very satisfying year in 2010 and have exceeded our internal targets for the third straight year,” said Michael Perschke, head, Audi India. “The race to the top is a long term game and we will get there in time. We are aiming for a market share between 28-30% in the luxury car segment in India and the way it is growing, we know it is a tough task.” who sold how much