Mercedes Benz to manufacture GL Class outside US: India it is
For the first time ever, Mercedes Benz is going to produce their GL Class full size SUV outside the US, and the chosen one is their plant in India, which is operated by their Indian subsidiary, Mercedes Benz India. The start of production is scheduled for 26th August 2013.
Produced only at the Mercedes Benz US International plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, till now, the new GL Class was launched in India back in May this year at the hands of legendary tennis star, Boris Becker. Offered at an ex-showroom price of Rs 77.50 lakh, it is still not clear whether there will be any changes in the price, once it starts India production.
To be produced outside US for the first time, MB India’s Chakan, Pune plant was inaugurated in 2009. Spread over an area of 100 acres, the plant today produces C Class, E Class, M Class, and S Class. Come 26th August 2013, and the list will see GL Class. Apart from this, India also houses Mercedes Benz’ largest R&D center in Bangalore, outside Germany.
Mercedes Benz GL Class is a full size SUV with 7 seats and three rows. It is available with 21 inch light weight 5 twin spoke alloys, AMG body kit with front and rear apron in body-colors, 360 surround camera, two piece tail light, sunroof for all three rows, ParkTronic, COMAND, 7 inch color display with internet browser and GPS, Attention assist, Crosswind assist, aluminum finish running boards with LED illumination, and safety features like DSR, ESP, 4ETS, AIRMATIC, etc.
Power is delivered via state of the art 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission to the 4MATIC all wheel drive system. Engine option on offer in India, is the 3.0L V6 diesel, that delivers 260 PS @3600 rpm and 619 Nm of torque at 1600-2400 rpm. This engine is 14.8% more efficient than the older version and delivers 34 PS more power. Top speed is at 220 kmph, while 0-100 kmph is achieved in 7.9 seconds.
Dynamic exteriors, luxurious interiors, enhanced performance: reiterates GL-Class’ ‘Absolute Supremacy’ in the luxury large SUV segment Segment innovations: 360°camera, Cross-Wind Stabilization, Open pore trim, Active Park Assist, Sunroof for all three rows Power: 190 kW @ 3600 rpm (258 hp @ 3600 rpm); +34hp more than outgoing model Torque: 619 Nm @ 1600~2400 rpm; +109Nm more than outgoing model India to be the second market after USA to locally produce GL-Class starting Q3 of 2013 GL 350 CDI ‘Launch Edition’ is priced at INR 77.50 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi
At the launch of GL Class in May, Mr. Eberhard Kern, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “2013 is the ‘Year of Offensive’ for Mercedes-Benz India and we are excited to present the all new GL-Class to our valued customers. Exclusivity and dynamism are two of the most enigmatic features of an ultimate SUV and the GL-Class imbibes both these as it established the SUV image of Mercedes-Benz in India with its launch in 2010. We have already succeeded with the new M-Class and now the introduction of the new GL-Class will further strengthen our dominance in the Luxury Large SUV segment. The GL-Class with its proven off-roading prowess and luxurious appointments exudes the Absolute Supremacy statement during on and off-road situations and is ideal to suit the taste of the growing number of off-roading aficionados in India”.