BMW to start assembly of the 1-Series and 7-Series in India next year image

BMW will start assembling the 1-Series hatchback and the 7-Series sedan in India in 2013, in a bid to retain its No. 1 position in the country’s luxury-car segment.

As BMW’s leadership in India’s growing luxury car market is challenged by Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the Munich-based carmaker will introduce the 1-Series in mid-2013, while the new version of the 7-Series will be sold from the end of next year.

Philipp von Sahr, president of BMW India, said the brand is committed to the local market. “BMW India will expand into new arena of the Indian car market to secure its growth. We want to achieve further growth with our brands and want to achieve different needs of our customers,” Sahr said at the local launch of the BMW X6 crossover.

BMW already assembles the 3-Series and 5-Series sedans, as well as the X1 SUV at its Chennai plant. The carmaker also builds the diesel-engine version of the X3 SUV at the plant, which can assemble up to 11,000 cars a year.

BMW imports to India vehicles such as the X5, X6 and the 6-Series as completely-built units. Locally-assembled vehicles attract lower taxes in India, compared with fully-built imported vehicles. BMW sold 7,389 cars in India in the first ten months of the year, almost unchanged from the year before.