Thursday, October 1, 2009

BMW turns to diesel cars to rev up sales

BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd has taken a bold move by introducing four diesel-powered cars to consumers in the hope that such cars will find greater acceptance over time.

The company is banking on greater fuel efficiency and more power of the diesel-powered cars – all under the EfficientDynamics tagline – to drive acceptance and sales.

“Diesel is something we can do under the EfficientDynamics brand and get an immediate impact,” managing director Geoffrey Briscoe said at the launch of BMW EfficientDynamics yesterday.

MD Geofrey Briscoe with a BMW 520d Sports

The cars are the BMW 320d Sports, the BMW 520d Sports Edition, the BMW X3 xDrive20d Executive Edition and the flagship BMW 730Ld.

The selling point of the new diesel-powered cars is the fuel efficiency and performance as the 320d Sports costs RM7,000 more than the petrol version.

Briscoe said BMW’s diesel-powered engines provided 75% more torque and 15% more horsepower than its petrol versions while consuming 30% less fuel and emitting 20% less carbon monoxide.

“Our new BMW EfficientDynamics enable our cars to travel up to 1,000km on a single tank of fuel. For the layman, this means that for every six days of travel, two days are considered free of fuel cost and, more importantly, it is better for the environment,” he said.

Based on a rough calculation, BMW claims the payback for the RM7,000 extra for the 320d is three years if the car is driven 15,000km a year.

The 320d without insurance costs RM255,800, the 520d RM379,800, the X3 RM333,800 and the 730Ld RM698,800. The prices include BMW’s three-year/60,000km warranty.

Briscoe said the improved quality of diesel would help and called it a bonus but the company had been planning to introduce its EfficientDynamics cars for the past 18 months.

“The time is right. There is a huge shift in environmental thinking in Malaysia,” he said.

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