BIZ BUZZ: BMW moves (further) upmarket
With more affordable vehicles taking a larger slice of the market pie in recent years, especially since the pandemic began, one would think that Filipinos are tight on cash and trading down in terms of buying “durables” like cars.
But that’s not what the local unit of BMW has been experiencing of late as its target market seems to have more and more disposable income, so much so that many ace actually moving upmarket.
As such, SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp.—the official importer of BMW in the country—recently unveiled a trio of high performance vehicles for its discerning clients.
Last week, BMW’s local head Spencer Yu gave motoring journalists a sneak peek at the BMW 420i Gran Coupe M Sport, which is a new model and the latest addition to the 4 Series range. It’s powered by a 2-liter TwinPower Turbo in-line four-cylinder engine that generates 184 horsepower … enough to accelerate the car from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 7.8 seconds. The price tag is a cool P4.9 million.
But don’t be shocked by those specs or sticker price yet, because the German luxury carmaker also introduced locally last week its new BMW XM, which it describes as a “sports activity coupe” (it’s like an SUV, but also like a car in many respects). Its M Hybrid drive generates a staggering 653 hp of power, 489 from a V8 internal combustion engine and 197 hp from an electric motor).
For P15.9 million, the BMW XM is yours, plus the company will install a wall charger in your home for free.
But wait, there’s more. Last week, the company also unveiled its BMW M3 CS sedan, which is a completely new car. Word in auto enthusiast circles is that this will be a rare car since it will only be made this year and only around 2,000 will be sold globally.
The M3’s 3-liter six-cylinder engine generates 550 hp which can accelerate the car from zero to 100 kph in … hold your breath … 3.2 seconds.
Now hold your breath again because its sticker price is a stunning P16.9 million, making it the most expensive BMW in the local market by a mile.
With the amount of money sloshing around the Philippine economy though, don’t be surprised if you see these three models out in the streets soon. (See separate story on B4)
—Daxim L. Lucas
A fintech-airline alliance
The Capital A Group, primarily known for operating low-cost carrier AirAsia, is teaming up with Aboitiz-led UnionDigital Bank through subsidiaries financial technology arm BigPay and travel platform AirAsia Superapp.
“With UnionDigital as our proud partner, we are now on our way to create a future where travel meets innovative financial solutions that facilitate everyone’s dream journeys with unparalleled ease,” Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes said.
Under this partnership, the Aboitiz-led company will provide a digital payment solution with BigPay, which will be embedded on the superapp, a platform that enables users to book flights, hotels and ride-hailing services.
“As tourism flourishes in the region, we are excited to elevate the end-to-end travel and payment experience of Filipinos through our collaboration with UnionDigital Bank and Airasia Superapp,” BigPay CEO Zubin Rada Krishnan said.