The BMW G 310 R is not coming to January 2017 as we had reported earlier. We now understand - the company has officially not revealed any information - that the BMW G 310 R launch for India is planned for April 2017 when bookings will open. First deliveries are expected by June 2017. We are not sure how this affects the TVS Akula 310 launch, but it might just be that the gap between the two launches will be a lot shorter. Given that they will be sold by two entirely separate dealer networks, and that the BMW is a naked and the TVS a sportsbike, there shouldn't be any reason why the launches of the BMW G 310 R and the TVS Akula 310 cannot be closer together.
As OVERDRIVE reported from the Cologne motorcycle show Intermot, we received confirmations that BMW Motorrad will shortly announce that nearly the full BMW Motorrad range would be available in India shortly starting with a small network of dealers. These will be CBU imports to start with, but all of the motorcycles made in Thailand will enter via the Indo-Thai FTA tariff structure which should make for prices competitive with the likes of Triumph and Ducati.
However, BMW Motorrad will also finally get control of the pricing of its products which has been the preserve of its importer in India so far. The R 1200 GS, for example, hits nearly Rs 35 lakh on-road and the S 1000 RR isn't far away either. We believe BMW Motorrad will rationalise prices and has a more reasonable price outlook.
The real competitive advantage, of course, will be if and when BMW Motorrad decides to set up an assembly facility in India. That will be the real key to a flexible, cost-efficient, long-term Indian operation. BMW's cars division started assembling cars in India very early out of the Chennai facility, and there is no reason to believe that the effectiveness of that approach - as further underlined by both Harley-Davidson and Triumph India - is lost on BMW Motorrad India.
The company is officially expected to announce its arrival in India shortly. Expect them to reveal an impressive range of the motorcycles on sale, definitely starting with all of the big ones. That's the S 1000 RR, S 1000 R, RnineT and derivatives, R 1200 GS and variants, and all the K models.
Stay tuned to OVERDRIVE for further updates.
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