Germany’s BMW, the world’s largest premium carmakers, on Tuesday launched the new BMW M3 coupe in Chennai.

First of the M series from BMW, M3 coupe is a two-door luxury car with a 3999cc V8 petrol engine. Top-notch performance and pure luxury combined with perfect handling render this car all reasons to justify its worth.

In view of the strong growth of the Indian economy, it has a goal of annual sales of 2000 vehicles in 2008 and to extend it to 10,000 cars till the year 2010.

“BMW started in India in the year 2007 in March with our production house in Chennai, the hometown of BMW here in India. And we sold last year to our customers 1,387 cars. Last year’s luxury segment sale was at about 4,300 cars, so our market share or segment share was about 30 per cent last year,” said Peter Kronschnabl, president of BMW, India.

“This year in 2008, we believe that we can sell about 2000 cars to the customers. Mid term we would like to become the segment leader in the luxury segment. We believe that the luxury segment will grow till 2010 to about 10000 cars per year,” he added.

The BMW also opened its first showroom, KUN, in the city.

BMW’s plant in Chennai is the group’s fifth factory in Asia and will make 3 and 5 series BMWs exclusively for the Indian market.

The Munich-based company is stuck to its goal of selling 150,000 cars in Asia, after sales in the region climbed 13.8 percent in 2006 to a record 126,949 vehicles.

Sales of its popular Mini in Asia rose 3.7 percent to 16,959 vehicles in 2007, while its ultra-luxury Rolls-Royce Phantoms sold 142 times — 40 more than in 2005.

Japan, which accounts for the lion’s share of sales in the region, recorded a 5.6 percent rise to 62,068 units in 2007, while China showed the strongest growth rate in Asia in
2006, up 35 percent to 44,700 vehicles.

Sales in the premium segment — which includes such brands as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi — in Asia’s third-largest economy reached 5,400 cars in 2006, the figure is expected to rise to around 10,000 by 2012. Source: