German luxury car manufacturer BMW, on Tuesday, launched the all-new BMW 1 Series. This is locally produced at its Chennai plant.

The entry-level hatch-back was launched here by cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and race car driver, Armaan Ebrahim.

The 1.6-litre petrol variant, BMW 116i, is priced at Rs.20.9 lakh (all India ex-showroom price). The BMW 118d diesel variant, fitted with a twin-power turbo-charged 2-litre engine is priced at Rs 22.9 lakh, the BMW 118d Sport at Rs 25.9 lakh, and the BMW 118d Sport Plus at Rs 29.9 lakh.

Speaking at the launch, Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India, said, “The year 2013 has not been an easy year for the Indian automobile industry, and there has been so much of turmoil in a matter of months as it has been confronted with strong pressures. We will concentrate on our strengths, and anticipate the needs of the market.’’

“There has been a lot of talk about the premium compact segment pushing growth here but among all our models, the BMW 3 Series and the BMW 5 Series will spearhead growth momentum for us,’’ he said.

Mr. von Sahr said BMW would increase investment by Rs.210 crore at the Chennai plant by end-2013 to increase capacity. It had invested Rs.180 crore to date for a capacity of 14,000 vehicles annually.

“We are looking at enhancing our portfolio of locally-made models,’’ Mr. von Sahr said. “The total plan now increases to 50 acres, and we have started the second line and can make eight models locally. While the first assembly line has two shifts, the second line is working on one shift.’’

It will invest

Rs.210 cr additionally

at the

Chennai plant