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Lower import duties on EVs for some time can help in boosting demand:BMW

German luxury car maker believes that reduction in import duties on electric vehicles (EV) for a limited time or for a limited number of units will help create demand in order to help manufacturing of such vehicles in India and bring new technologies quicker to the country, according to a senior company official.

The company, which has been manufacturing locally many of its vehicles sold in India for the last 15 years, considers creating demand is key to localisation of manufacturing. BMW Group India President and CEO Vikram Pawah said, “What we always do is we create demand for a model and then localise it. We believe these new technologies also have a potential to be localised in future but you need to create a mass demand for that critical mass (for local manufacturing to be viable),”.

The only way to do that, according to him, is to fast track it, create the demand before the infrastructure develops or create the demand which will create the infrastructure. “Then we can localise by that time these technologies which are mature and then we can apply it into the country,” he added. Pawah further said, “For that what we are seeking from the government is very simple thing, that yes, let us have some reduction in import duties, but only for limited time or limited quantities.”

The rationale behind such a demand, according to him is “it will allow us achieve both the objectives. We will be able to keep manufacturing into India, and we will be able to bring these technologies quicker into India.” Reiterating that the company has consistently maintained this stand, Pawah said, “That is what our consistency has been always that at any point any new technologies we should do that. It will allow even safety technologies, environment, green technologies to come into India faster.”

Currently, India imposes 100 per cent import duty on fully imported cars with CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value more than USD 40,000 and 60 per cent on those costing less than the amount. The German luxury car maker has announced that it would launch three electric vehicles in the next 6 months in India to accelerate its electric mobility journey in the country. To start with, the company will launch its technology flagship all-electric SUV iX in the next one month which will be followed by all-electric MINI luxury hatchback in 3 months. These will be followed by the launch of all-electric sedan BMW i4 in six months.

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