Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz luxury car manufacturer, on Wednesday introduced its first SUV built in India, an M-Class 250 CDI.
In an effort to expand sales in India’s growing luxury vehicle market, Daimler has invested in a local assembly facility.
The Mercedes M-Class 250 CDI which first rolled off the assembly line, costs 4.7 million rupees ($85,000) in India and has been assembled in Daimler’s Chakan plant in Maharashtra state. Built from CKD units, the ML 250 is currently localised to a degree of around 30 percent.
“This is the first Mercedes Benz SUV model made in India and we will further increase the range. We look forward to being a long term player and be prepared to take a large piece of the pie,” said Ralf Mungenast, International Productions director at Daimler AG.
The more powerful Mercedes M-Class 350 CDI SUV is imported to India from Daimler’s Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, United States, and is priced at 5.6 million rupees. Daimler also wants to assemble the larger GL Class SUV at its India facility starting next year. At present, its Indian plant produces the C Class, E Class and S Class vehicles.
Other luxury carmakers, including BMW, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover, have been looking at either manufacturing or assembling vehicles in India to take advantage of lower costs.