The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has received 400 bookings in India, which has sent a wake up call to BMW. The Bavarian automaker has woken up and how. BMW has started a pre-launch marketing campaign for their upcoming 1-Series which was expected to go on sale in September. However the entry-level BMW hatchback could come sooner (by August) thereby competing directly with Mercedes-Benz’ A-Class and Volvo’s recently launch V40 Cross Country. The competition in the entry level segment is just heating up but Audi has no plans to bring in a hatchback anytime soon.
BMW has started a marketing campaign called Dynamic 1, which was carried in newspapers yesterday. The print ad talks about a contest where you answer a few questions on the Dynamics 1 website (HERE) and 10 people are selected. The winners will be flown to Germany for a 3 nights/4 days all expenses paid trip and will drive the BMW 1-Series alongside Sachin Tendulkar (BMW India brand ambassador) and Armaan Ebrahim (FIA GT racer).
So how does BMW plan to position the 1-Series? The German automaker will market the 1-Series as a premium fun to drive hatchback which will be priced quite aggressively. Unlike the A-Class and V40, the 1-Series will be locally assembled in India, thereby giving BMW a significant price advantage. While the 1-Series is slightly shorter than the above mentioned vehicles, the Bimmer is more focussed on driving pleasure than space inside the cabin.
The rear-wheel drive BMW 1-Series shares its underpinnings with the X1 and 3-Series. The vehicle is expected to be powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine which does duty in the X1 and 3-Series, producing 181 BHP of power. A 2.0-litre petrol engine is expected as well with 150 BHP of power on tap. BMW will offer multiple variants, including entry level ones which will undercut its chief rivals comfortably. Expect the BMW 1-Series to be offered with a starting price of Rs. 19.5 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).