Mercedes Benz India streamlines efforts: Plans to start assembling M Class, B Class and A Class at their Pune plant

Mercedes Benz India will be increasing production capacity two fold over the next one year year where passenger cars are concerned. This increase in capacity will ensure that 20,000 units are produced per annum in a two shift mode at their plant in Chakan near Pune.

Further, the company will be pumping in additional investments to the tune of Rs.200 crores to install a paint shop that will have capacity to paint these 20,000 units thus produced. The new paint shop is expected to come into existence in the coming few months.

Currently the Chakan Plant assembles the Mercedes Benz C Class, E Class and S Class while M Class imported. New plans are in place to start producing M Class, B Class and A Class at the same Chakan plant. Production of M Class will get under way by the end of this year. This SUV was launched last month in India and is currently sold as a Completely Built Up (CBU) unit. Mercedes Benz plans on launching the new B Class in India as a CBU by this yearend while the A Class will be launch by June 2013. Though these will be launched as CBU’s, Mercedes Benz India plans on keeping respective prices of these cars in such a way that they are assembled locally.

Over the next 18 months, Mercedes Benz India plans on reviving their efforts in India to an altogether different level. With the upcoming new lines and new paint shop at the Chakan Plant, Mercedes Benz total investments will reach Rs.650 to 700 crores. Mercedes Benz produces passenger cars, bus body building and a line of trucks at this Pune based plant.

India auto news release: Mercedes-Benz India gets future ready, increases its investment for the Indian market

Mercedes-Benz India further increase its investment to Rs 850 crores by 2014
Overall committed investment in its facility in Chakan increases to Rs 850 crores
The new Paint shop to be operational by October, 2012
Mercedes-Benz India has a network of 72 touchpoints across 31 Indian cities with an additional cumulative investment of Rs 480 crores
Indian operations amongst the first to get a local assembly of new M-Class outside Daimler’s parent SUV plant in USA

Mercedes-Benz India pioneered the luxury car industry in India by starting its India operations in 1994. In 2009, the company moved into its world class production facility spread over 100 acres in Chakan. The new plant earned the benchmark of being among the fastest green-field operations ever to be created and is rated among the top most CKD plants of Mercedes-Benz, globally. The initial investment of Rs 250 crores was scaled upto to Rs 600+ crores with the setting up Mercedes-Benz India’s own technologically advanced paint shop capable of water based painting. The new paint shop is targeted to be operational by October, 2012 and has an annual capacity of 20,000 units (which can be extended up to 40,000 units annually).

Peter T Honegg, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented: “We are bullish about the Indian market and this is reflected in our long term commitment towards the dynamic Indian market. The investment of Rs 850 crores will help us strengthen our production and operational capabilities with regards to our existing products and our exciting and aggressive product offensive which we are readying for the Indian market. This investment will enable Mercedes-Benz India to be future ready.”

Presently Mercedes-Benz India locally manufactures its flagship sedans the C-Class, the E-Class and the S-Class sedan in its plant in Chakan near Pune. With Daimler AG recognizing the emergence of high potential growth markets including India, Mercedes-Benz India will earn the distinction of being amongst the first markets to start assembling the new M-Class, outside Daimler AG’s parent SUV plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama, USA.

Piyush Arora, Director- Technical, Mercedes-Benz India added “Mercedes-Benz India’s aggressive growth plan includes the local manufacturing of several new models in the coming years, beginning with the new M-Class. This fresh investment is in sync with the growth expectations from the Indian market and will further strengthen the range of locally manufactured Mercedes-Benz models from the Indian operations.”

In addition to the proposed increase in investment to Rs 850 crores in its production facility, Mercedes-Benz India through its dealer partners already carries an investment of over Rs 480 crores spread across its 31 showroom and 41 service outlets located in 31 Indian cities. Mercedes-Benz India is also aggressively and strategically expanding its network reach which is the densest by any luxury car maker in India. As part of its aggressive network expansion strategy, Mercedes-Benz India plans to add new touchpoints each year going forward on a sustained manner for mid and long term growth.