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The German luxury auto manufacturer, Mercedes Benz is investing close to Rs. 350 crores at its Indian assembly facility to set up 2 new car production lines as a part of capacity expansion. Mercedes Benz once used to enjoy the No. 1 luxury car manufacturer spot in the Indian auto market but lost the title to BMW. The company again wants to snatch back this coveted title from BMW in the next 2 years. The company is betting big on the Mercedes B-Class which it will launch by the end of 2012.
“India is an important growth market for us, where we see quite some potential for the future. In order to tap this potential we will be continuously expanding our presence in this key market. This will happen, for example, by enlarging our dealer network, but also by ramping up production capacities accordingly,” Mr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management, Daimler AG and Head, Mercedes-Benz Cars Division, said.
Mercedes is already planning on assembly of 4 to 5 models at its manufacturing facility in Chakan near Pune which will help the company to increase its volumes and market share. 2 new launches, the Mercedes Benz B-Class and the A-Class are already in the pipeline with launches happening sometime this year. The B class is expected to be launched sometime later this year while the A class showcased at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo will be happening sometime in 2013. In SUVs, Mercedes is already manufacturing the M class and GL class vehicles in India with a compact version of the GLC likely to come out in 2014.
With Mercedes having a paint shop with an investment close to Rs. 200 crore in India and engines already manufactured by Force Motors under a license agreement, the company has a long term strategy to move to complete production capability in India. Mercedes is also targeting volumes of close to 15,000 units with the commencing of the production of A and B class models. In future, the company has plans to invest a further 1000 crores by 2014-15 as a part of its drive to become the Number 1 luxury car maker in India.
Source – TheHinduBusinessLine