"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
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."