manufacturers are setting their eyes on smaller Indian cities and
towns as markets boom for their products, particularly sale of
And one such city is the Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal where an
Auto Expo is going on. At least 14 major manufacturers, including
Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, BMW, Jaguar, Renault, and
Mahindra and Mahindra, are participating in the four-day trade
The car manufacturers say markets like Bhopal are booming like
never before. Industry experts say the preferred choice of the
affluent and young are helping the market grow.
"Our target to begin with is to sell 20 cars, but if the current
trend is anything to follow, we will exceed expectations (in
2012)," BMW Sales Consultant Nilesh Tiwari told IANS.
BMW plans to have its very own service centre in Madhya Pradesh by
the end of the next quarter.
Jaguar Land Rover is in the process of selecting a dealer in the
"Preliminary research indicated that customers from Madhya Pradesh
purchase their luxury vehicles from other states. We are looking
to fill this gap by creating a niche for our two brands, Jaguar
and Land Rover," said Sales Manager Sameer Ahsan.
On display at the fair is a Jagaur that costs a cool Rs.96 lakh on
road. The Land Rover, whose price tag begins at Rs.41 Lakh, has
already sold a couple of its models in the state, with a booking
order for another dozen before the launch of its showroom in
An all-time favourite, Mitsubishi Pajero, is said to be selling
more in Bhopal than across the state and even Nagpur.
"We sell on an average eight Pajeros per month in Bhopal, which
ranks higher than sales in Nagpur," S.M. Sheikh, assistant
manager, sales, told IANS.
"The market for SUVs and Pajeros has picked up significantly," he
Mitsubishi is gearing up to enter the Bhopal market with its
luxury sedan Lancer Evolution X (also known as Evo 10). Cost
almost Rs.50 lakh.
"I've got a car already, it's a Civic. But I'm looking for
something a little bigger, because it's a bit cramped if you go
away for the night," said Ramesh Sharma, looking at a brochure of
BMW X-series, whose price range starts from Rs.26 lakh.
(Shahnawaz Akhtar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)