Interview with Vikram Pawah, President & CEO, BMW Group India

We present our ‘Best of 2021’ award to Vikram Pawah, President & CEO, BMW Group India, for the M340i xDrive. Vikram talks to us about the runaway success of the M340i, the possibility of more M Performance models making it to our shores, and more.

By autoX Editorial | on December 15, 2021 Follow us on Autox Google News

BMW has made a habit of being amongst our top-ten vehicles of the year.

Yes, we’re always at the top! We know that. And we want to be at the top of the autoX Awards, for sure. And it’s good to have an award for the fastest car that’s built in India!

With the success of the M340i, are we likely to see more such M-Performance products in India? 

It’s not just M-Performance. There’s clearly scope for what we call our niche products in India. So, when we launched the M340i, within split seconds of opening the bookings, it was gone. We did it a second time, and, again, the same thing. We just opened the third lot – and gone again. And, you see, we just launched the 220i Sports Shadow Edition. Again, sold out within two hours and forty minutes. So, yes, exciting times.

And this bodes very well for the M3 and M4, which are also coming soon. But, tell me, why does the grille have to be so polarizing?

(Laughs) Car design has to stand out. So when you stand out, you will be polarizing. And that’s what we heard from our customers – they said that I want my BMW to look like a BMW. I want to be different. So that’s why, now, all the kidney grilles are quite different in every model that we launch. And we’re getting great feedback from customers on this.

What is the EV future for BMW in India?

The EV future is very bright. In India, the market will develop for EVs, there’s no doubt about that. But when it develops is the question. Because it has to follow through with the infrastructure, and you can see a lot of development happening right now. But there’s a long way to go. And we’ve made a very clear promise that we’re going to have 25 electric products by 2023, and you’ll see many of them in India for sure.

Do you think for it to reach any scale, it’s really the charging infrastructure – or lack thereof – that’s the barrier?

No, I don’t think it is just the charging infrastructure. It’s a combination of three things. One, the car should be attainable. At the moment, the import duties and tax structures are quite high. There are some benefits on the GST side, which is clearly welcome because you need to create the demand before you start manufacturing in India. So, one part is ensuring that there are enough incentives in place for people to adopt this new technology in an attainable way. The second is about infrastructure. You know it has to be there because if you want to travel in a hassle-free way, you should be assured that you’re not going to get stuck anywhere. And the third point is all about products. Are there enough products or options for the customers to choose from? That last part is what we can control. But on the other two parts, we have to wait for clarity before we can really bring all these products into India.

Intrview With Vikram Pawah President CEO BMW Group India‘Joy is at the core of BMW. And that is something we’ll never forget. No matter what drivetrain it is,’ says Vikram

As we found with the M340i, your cars are always at the top because they’re so much fun to drive. But can you maintain that fun-to-drive differentiation in an EV?

We’ll talk about this when we drive one because I’m sure you’ll come up with the same comment – because the ‘joy of driving’ is still there. You need to remember, joy is at the core of BMW. And that is something we’ll never forget. No matter what drivetrain it is. You see it in diesels, you see it in petrol, and you see it in plug-in hybrids as well – although we don’t have one in India. The joy of driving remains, and this will be the case in electric as well. We’re a dynamic company, we’re a dynamic brand, and we’ll remain like that.

Read more:

BMW M340i, Track Test  

Audi S5 vs BMW M340i: Comparison

Tags: BMW BMW India BMW M340i

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