BMW launches 'Mini' brand in India

The BMW Group, which owns the Mini nameplate, launched the legendary brand in India on April 05, 2012. To be made available to Indian consumers as Completely Built-Up Units (CBU), the entire Mini range will be on offer starting from the Cooper to the Countryman. The base Cooper variant is priced at INR 25.5 Lakh while the Cooper S and Cooper Convertible are priced at INR 28.6 and INR 30.7 Lakh respectively. The 4-door Cooper S Countryman retails for INR 32.8 Lakh while the range-topping Cooper S Countryman High comes with a price tag of INR 35.9 Lakh. All prices are ex-showroom Mumbai, where Mini opened its first dealership in India. The company is planning to open a few more dealerships in the country before the end of 2012. A 1.6-liter petrol engine with 172 bhp of peak power is standard on the 'S' variants while the base variant comes with a restricted power output of 122 bhp.

Speaking at the launch in Mumbai, Dr. Andreas Schaaf, President, BMW Group India, said: “We have brought the world’s most exciting premium small car brand to India. The Mini is more than just a car - it is a personality on wheels - a fashion statement - and a way of life. The Mini expresses a whole generation’s approach to life - it is extrovert, open and full of zest in life. No other brand exhibits the attributes and essence of a modern urban lifestyle like MINI and there is no doubt that it is one of the world’s most emotional auto brands”. BMW relaunched the Mini brand as a premium small car almost a decade back and there has been no looking back ever since. For the records, India is the 100th country in the world where Mini is sold. While the prices are definitely on the higher side even though they are completely imported, BMW would be banking on the Mini's legacy to pull in the customers.

There are reports circulating in the media that, since its unveiling in the 2012 Auto Expo in January, the Mini range already has 100 buyers in the country. Thousands of modified Swifts that have their pillars and roofs painted in black to mock the Mini Cooper, proves that Indians love the Mini's design theme. Add to it the nimble and sporty handling that Minis are famous for throughout the world, Indians can finally look forward to a 'hot hatch' experience driving the Mini. Apart from the iconic and legendary Volkswagen Beetle, the Mini Cooper has absolutely no  competition. While the Beetle has not met with success in India, Mini, with the backing of the mighty BMW, can be expected to put up a better show. Volkswagen India now badly needs the vastly-improved all-new Beetle here to stage a comeback. Until then, Mini is all set to rule the roost as the 'de facto choice' in premium small cars.

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