Mercedes-Benz to assemble M and GL Class in India

Tuesday 28 August 2012, 12:18 PM by

Mercedes-Benz India, the completely owned subsidiary of the German auto maker Daimler AG, has announced to start assembling of its M- and GL-Class Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in India from next year. Both the luxury SUVs are currently assembled only at Mercedes-Benz's production facility in Tuscaloosa, USA and the move happens to be the company's first production initiative outside the country.

The German auto major further revealed that the company is also looking forward to commence the assembling of these luxury SUVs in South East Asian nations like Indonesia and Thailand.

A statement on the Daimler Group's website said, “The necessary preparations at the selected three production sites in India, Thailand and Indonesia are proceeding full steam ahead. Later on in the year, final assembly of the M-Class using SKD kits will start there for the respective local market.”

Regarding the new development, the company further added, “For the first time, Daimler will start the final assembly of the SUV model series for the new Mercedes-Benz M and GL-Class outside the SUV parent plant in Tuscaloosa/ Alabama, USA.”

Reportedly, this year onwards, Mercedes-Benz will start assembling M-Class SUV from its production facilities, based in India, Indonesia, and Thailand. The auto major’s Indian and Indonesian manufacturing units will take care of its GL-Class production.

In India, Mercedes-Benz has established its production unit near Pune, Maharashtra and the facility is engaged in rolling out luxury saloons like C, E and S-Class.

Sharing his delight at the company's new undertaking, Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management, Daimler AG quoted, “Our new SUVs are very popular with our customers. We expect high growth rates also in the emerging markets and, therefore, extend our local production. Thus, we open up new potential as part of our growth strategy.”

The new development would surely enamour the Indian luxury SUV enthusiasts as with the production coming to India will result in sharp cut on the import duties, which are currently levied on the SUVs. The smart move by Mercedes-Benz India will surely hit its competitors like Audi and BMW really hard and they will be looking for some reprisal as well.

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