Mercedes-Benz doubles capacity at Chakan Plant and starts to locally produce the GLA SUV
Mercedes-Benz India has been having a good run in the Indian luxury car market. Having experienced double digit growth, the company recently inaugurated its second manufacturing plant in Chakan. Mercedes also revealed that the new GLA SUV will be produced at this new facility. This move has doubled the production capacity of the facility to 20,000 units per annum, also giving the German car maker added room for assembling future products.
Having commenced local production of the GLA, prices of the company’s entry level compact SUV have been reduced by around Rs. 1.5 lakhs to Rs. 2 lakhs. The GLA compact SUV is now priced at Rs. 31.31 lakhs to Rs. 34.25 lakhs (ex-showroom Pune). The latest development also makes Mercedes India the largest assembler of the Mercedes branded vehicles in the world. The Chakan plant is the company’s only facility internationally to churn out three different car lines – for compact cars, luxury sedans and SUVs.
The GLA is Mercedes’ latest compact product for India and already accounts for 30 percent of its overall sales in the country. Nine months into launch, the local production of this SUV seems to be driven by its strong demand in India. Since the Chakan plant was inaugurated, Mercedes has invested more than Rs. 1000 crores for this facility, which also rolls out luxury SUVs like the ML and GL-Class.
In the meantime, Mercedes outsold fellow German car manufacturer Audi in the luxury space by over 350 cars at the end of the first quarter of 2015. The company was able to sell 10,200 vehicles in total in 2014, which is their highest ever and 13 percent more than the previous year. It will be bringing 15 models to India this year which include both facelifts and new variants. After having opened 15 new showrooms this year, the company’s total tally will reach 80 and other than these, three new AMG Performance Centres are also in the pipeline.