Daimler has announced that it will start the final assembly of the SUV model series for the new Mercedes-Benz M- and GL-Class in India, Thailand and Indonesia.
It will be the first time the two models are assembled outside the SUV parent plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama, USA.
The SKD assembly (semi-knocked-down – complete bodywork and further vehicle components) of the M-Class will start soon in India, with Thailand and Indonesia to follow later in 2012. The kits are produced in Tuscaloosa, prepared for shipping and sent on their journey to the final assembly plants.
“Our new SUV’s 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,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Manufacturing and Procurement Mercedes-Benz Cars & Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Following the start of production of the M-Class in India, Thailand and Indonesia this year, the first units of the new GL-Class made from SKD kits will roll off the assembly line in India and Indonesia during 2013.
To deal with the increased requirements, the Mercedes-Benz plant Tuscaloosa opened a new SKD logistics center.