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India will soon enter our top 20 markets in the world – Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz is currently at the top of the charts where luxury car sales for 2015 is concerned. They have started the year on a positive note, posting sales of 3,566 units in Q1. Thus registering 40% growth, and also becoming India’s no 1 luxury car maker in 2015.

Eberhard Kern with the new Mercedes CLA Class inside company plant in Chakan, Pune.

Speaking about India, Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India says India is the world’s seventh largest automobile market today. Speaking about where India figures on important markets for Mercedes Benz, he seems to be proud to say that India is on the brink of emerging in the list of top 20 markets in the world for Mercedes Benz.

In India, Mercedes Benz operates from their assembly plant in Chakan near Pune. New investments has made sure that the plant’s capacity is doubled to 20,000 units, while adding new models to the CKD line-up. As of today, MB India assembles C Class, E Class, S Class, ML Class and GL Class. This year, they plan to start assembling A Class, B Class, GLA Class and CLA Class.

With current localization levels between 35 to 40 percent depending on model, new investments will also ensure that localization levels continue to increase. When asked about making a India-spec car, Mr Kern said that is not going to be possible.

Elaborating on their current local suppliers, Force Motors supply them with engines and gearboxes while Hero Chassis for axles and Draexlmaier India for door panels and wiring harness. Mercedes Benz India has also tied up with Tenneco Automotive India for exhaust systems while heating, ventilating and air conditioning will be from Valeo India and Mahle Behr along with Lear India who will be supplying seats.

Increased localization of components will result in lower taxes levied on the cars which will directly affect pricing of their cars. Other benefits include better after sales service, as imported parts take longer to reach service centres.

via The Hindu

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