Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV to be locally produced in India

author image CarTrade Editorial Team
Wednesday 14 August 2013, 10:14 AM

Mercedes-Benz India, the domestic arm of German luxury car maker, is planning to introduce its first domestically produced GL-Class Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in the country on August 26, 2013. Reportedly, the model will be manufactured at the company's Chakan plant (Pune). Sources close to the development process stated that the India will be the first auto market in the world to locally produce the GL-Class model, after the mother plant of brand with three pointed star in Tuscaloosa, USA.

It must be noted that the domestic manufacturing of GL-Class SUV will make the model much affordable. Currently, it bears a price tag of around Rs. 78 lakh, which seems quite hefty for the price sensitive Indian buyers. Powered by a performance oriented V6 diesel engine, the model smoothly accelerates from initial to 100 kmph within just 8.9 seconds. This 3.0-litre engine has a displacement of 2987 cc and produces a maximum power output of 258 bhp along with a torque of up to 620 Nm. Adding to the performance of this engine, a seven-speed automatic gearbox has been assimilated within the GL-Class SUV.

Launched in May, the model is presently brought as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) in the Indian auto market. Sources further revealed that the first lot of GL-Class SUV was imported from the Mercedes-Benz’s facility in Alabama, USA. On the international platform, the model was introduced in 2012 in New York. On this move of German auto maker, industry experts are of a view that the imported cars are taxed heavily, which increases their ex-showroom prices. Also, the value of rupee is depreciating heavily against the strong US dollar, which is giving a high priority to the locally manufactured cars, mainly from higher segments having large engine capacities.

Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz is currently assembling ML-Class in the Indian auto market and offered its new base variant, equipped with a 2.2-litre oil burner. The assembly of ML-Class started in October 2012.

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