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      Mercedes Benz steps up local assembly, ML Class to be sold as CKD unit

      CarTrade Editorial Team

      CarTrade Editorial Team

      Mercedes Benz is gearing up to enhance its local assembly capabilities by bringing the upcoming ML Class 2012 Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) though the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit route. However, the model will first be launched as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) in the domestic market with a 3 L V6 diesel engine. Later, the German automotive leader will introduce the 2.2 L CKD unit engine option that can deliver 204 hp of power and 500 Nm of torque.

      By opting for the CKD route, the company will ensure that it is able to keep costs under control, which will eventually take the burden off the buyers. Moreover, the company will be in a better position to take on compatriots BMW and Audi due to competitive prices. The two companies will give stiff competition to ML Class for the title of most popular entry level luxury crossover in India with X3 and Q5, respectively.

      In a bid to make another luxury car more affordable, Mercedes Benz will also bring the 2013 GL Class SUV as a CKD unit. The model will be assembled at the manufacturer's Chakan plant, located in the vicinity of Pune, Maharashtra. The new GL Class is expected to give stiff competition to Audi's A7 crossover vehicle, which is also emphasising on bolstering its CKD capabilities in India. BMW may also choose to assemble its upcoming 2013 X5 SUV locally, though nothing is clear as of now.