"If you think X7 is in your face, trust me it’s only the be­gin­ning"

Speak­ing to BMW Asia-Pa­cific head on In­dia, GST, electrics and the fu­ture

Evo India - - INTERVIEW -

Cal­i­for­nia they spend more than what they make. The younger gen­er­a­tion has in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure and they do drive a 3 Se­ries abroad and are will­ing to up­grade to a 5 Se­ries in In­dia. Those guys are our po­ten­tial cus­tomers."

On E-mo­bil­ity in In­dia

"The roll of elec­tric mo­bil­ity will come at a dif­fer­ent pace through­out the world that’s also largely de­pen­dent on what sup­port you have from the govern­ment. You look at places like Cal­i­for­nia, Nor­way, Poland, you can clearly see those states, coun­tries have put a lot of ef­fort to make elec­tric mo­bil­ity a key agenda. There’s enor­mous in­fra­struc­ture, charg­ing sta­tions at ev­ery cor­ner, then toll free driv­ing on the toll high­ways, you name it."

On ‘Joy of driv­ing’ with electrics "With the iVi­sion, we demon­strated the dif­fer­ent modes of driv­ing, where you can ei­ther re­lax or go all out. We have in­vented the seg­ment. Have you driven an i8? It’s the fastest sportscar in its seg­ment. In the first 50 me­tres, you will beat ev­ery mo­tor­cy­cle and even some of the fa­mous Ger­man sportscars. You al­ways drive an elec­tric car fast but be­cause you don’t hear the sound you don’t get the sen­sa­tions. It is all about sheer driv­ing plea­sure, the ul­ti­mate driv­ing. The com­bus­tion en­gine, diesel or petrol will be around for decades; I do not think ev­ery sin­gle car will be elec­tric."

BMW’s new de­sign lan­guage "Maybe with the new de­sign we have lost a bit of ag­gres­sive­ness. Lot more time is be­ing spent on prod­uct de­sign than may be in the past. You will see some re­ally provoca­tive de­signs com­ing from BMW. If you think the X7 is in your face, trust me it’s only the be­gin­ning, the other ones will be shock­ing then, but good look­ing."

"When you de­velop the project, you have peo­ple from dif­fer­ent cul­tures. Longer de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses al­ways run into challenges, which you may have not ob­served. The Ger­man cul­ture ac­knowl­edges a prob­lem and con­tin­ues to de­velop other pa­ram­e­ters and waits for the prob­lem to be re­solved. On the other hand, the In­dian cul­ture when faced with an is­sue, ex­pects to solve it first be­fore mov­ing on with fur­ther de­vel­op­ment. Sooner or later we will find a so­lu­tion and we will con­tinue the de­vel­op­ment. So you have to align those philoso­phies of tech­nol­ogy.

We have learnt a lot from TVS and TVS has prob­a­bly learnt a lot from BMW. At the end we had to make sure that the qual­ity is spec­tac­u­lar. We had some challenges. A sup­plier who sup­plies one com­po­nent of the en­gine was mak­ing it not up to the spec­i­fi­ca­tions, so we had to wait. It has noth­ing to do with TVS, noth­ing to do with Mo­tor­rad and it took a while to un­der­stand. And this is a part­ner­ship for decades to come, so three or six months in the be­gin­ning don’t re­ally mat­ter so much."

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