Bmws News From Italy and India

By: Zeke Gervis

BMW just like other global automakers is searching for quality and affordable source of auto components and luckily for the German luxury carmaker it has found one in India. BMW will obtain its auto components from India and will set up its international purchasing office also in India to procure its worldwide auto parts requirements.

BMW India President, Peter Kronschnabl said in an interview recently with media persons, "We will be setting up an international purchasing office which will be headed by an expatriate to take care of sourcing components for BMW's global operations."

According to Kronschnabl the proposed international purchasing office will become fully operational by August this year and will be completely independent from that of the company's purchase unit at Chennai, which caters to its India operations.

BMW's India purchase unit could work in tandem with the international purchasing office or could work individually or together approach vendors depending on products added Kronschnabl. Unfortunately, he refused to answer queries about the quantum of components that BMW was planning to source from India saying that it's too early to comment on the matter.

Butt he did say that the sourcing team would soon visit India to study and decide what kind of components are to be sourced from this country. He also explained that the company has revised its sales target for this year attributed to the good response that its newly launched 3-Series sedan from its Chennai plant has been getting. The sales figure has been revised from about 1,000 cars to 1,200 units in India for this year. The company is also planning to roll out its 5-Series models from Chennai plant hopefully this coming June.

On the other news...

Bertone heading to US on BMW's powered Sportscar?---According to reports from the Automotive News, the Italian coachbuilder Bertone is developing a BMW-powered sports car destined for the US market.

Bertone is famous for creating styled cars for Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Ferrari, Fiat, Iso Rivolta, Lancia, Lamborghini, and Volvo cars. But that is not the only thing that the Bertone is famous for. It is no secret that the familial spats occurred within Bertone's management that forced Barbara Bertone the daughter of Lilli Bertone, who is the company's Chairman and CEO, to leave the company in March of 2006.

As the saying goes-"Blood is thicker than water"---apparently whatever it was that caused the separation of the mother and daughter professionally has been worked out. And right now Barbara is again taking an active role in their company as the managing director. Her responsibilities will include going out and getting Bertone business especially since it hasn't had a major job after it stopped producing the Opel/Vauxhall Astra Coupe and the Cabriolet in 2005.

At present the company is working on some minor work building a special run of 2,000 MINIs which is still short for the company. But according to Automotive News Bertone has told its workers that it may produce 400 units of a camper van and a BMW-powered sports car designed for the US market.

Automotive News has also asked BMW about the proposed model unfortunately the Bavarian automaker said that they are not involved in the car's development but they also didn't deny its existence.

It can be remembered that Bertone did present a 95th Anniversary Concept at the Geneva Motor Show last March, which was based on the Fiat Panda 100HP. This two-seat roadster concept could threaten the model that was mentioned to in the Automotive News article. And by the way Bertone is also the famous brand of the top-of-the-line which is equipped on BMW, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, etc.

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