Recently, BMW Motorrad outlined their plans for the definitive BMW for India – the late to come in 2018 G 310 R and the G 310 GS. Speaking exclusively to Fast Bikes India was Timo Resch, head of sales and marketing at BMW Motorrad. Here are some of the highlights of the interaction between him and Adil Jal Darukhanawala:
Q: You said BMW was wanting in on India for a long time. How long was this period of wanting in?
A: It was really long but we wanted the market to be receptive to our type of motorcycle. Normally once the national sales company begins operations we see how the market matures and then we move in.
Q: Could you elaborate on what you mean by your type of motorcycle?
A: I think a BMW motorcycle is always well known for its technology, engineering capability and craftsmanship plus also its build quality. It also has to be capable of doing long distance riding without any problems but while remaining honest about being able to perform in a natural rather than a contrived way. The combination of all this coupled to BMW’s brand heritage and also its future orientation is a very unique mix that appeals to customers.
Q: A BMW built in India, how big a statement is that?
A: Coming into India and manufacturing in India was a very strategic move. From there on to identify a product to focus on this market meant identifying the right partner with the requisite experience of this market. A partner we could rely on and also work with for the long term. Also the bike was to be built not just for India but also for our global markets so what we will sell in India is the same we will ship to the US, to Brazil, to Europe and so on with the same craftsmanship and quality.
Q: When is the G 310 coming to India?
A: We are planning to introduce both the G 310 R and the GS version in the second half of 2018.
Q: Why so late?
A: It is hard to outline but it has all to do with our brand on a worldwide scale which focuses on its premium perch. We would always want to be in a premium position which might not be within the reach of all customers but that’s our foundation, our core. Our bikes are for those who aspire high and for that we have to give time for our top end bikes to become established and then usher in the 310. This move to establish a sales channel is vital for our big bikes and from there on we will focus massively on the 310.
Q: How big is your sales channel for your big bikes then?
A: We have four dealers in place and maybe going forward we could double that.
Q: That’s a drop in the ocean for a country so vast like ours!
A: Yes our project strategy is different because we want our big bikes to create the brand shaper impression for the 310 so then the acceptance of the small bike falls within the DNA core we seek to share with customers.
Q: Tell us something about what you see and have learned from TVS?
A: Our partnership with TVS is a very trustworthy one and even though we had to learn each other’s cultures we have an open relationship with them. It’s a technology partnership but mainly I can call it a manufacturing partnership. Both of us will fine tune our respective offerings in line with our individual brands and in that way there is some shared knowledge between the two of us.