Mercedes-Benz has been the first mover in India, while its key rivals in the luxury segment only entered India around six years back, Mercedes-Benz completes 20 years in the sub-continent this year. The Stuttgart based automaker entered India in 1994 and has been assembling cars in the country ever since. Today the automaker rolled out its 50,000th car from its Chakan facility. Mercedes produced 20,000 cars by April 2008 while the 30,000th car rolled out in December 2011. In a short time, the company has been able to produce another 20,000 cars owing to improvements in manufacturing and processes.
Mercedes has invested heavily in India and the company’s Chakan plant is the only such unit outside the USA where the ML-Class and GL-Class are produced. The 100 acres facility can churn out 10,000 units a year but the capacity is being doubled to 20,000 units per annum in the near future. Mercedes-Benz is considering making India an export base for its front-wheel drive cars which are underpinned by the MFA platform. Currently the A-Class and B-Class are brought in via the CBU route. Mercedes assembles 5 models in India namely the C-Class, E-Class, ML-Class, GL-Class and S-Class.
To celebrate the roll out of 50,000 cars, Mercedes-Benz has launched the C-Class Grand Edition. The C-Class is one of the most important models for Mercedes-Benz globally and 19,000 units have been sold in India till date. The C-Class Grand Edition gets an AMG body kit and 5-twin spoke 17-inch alloy wheels with black AMG hub caps. The car also gets “Grand Edition” badge on the fender. The interiors feature integrated navigation, sun visors with illuminated mirrors, auto dimming interior mirror and door sill panels in the front and rear (the front panels gets Mercedes-Benz written on them). Being a Mercedes, the C-Class is loaded with equipment such as BAS, ASR, ESP, six airbags, Adaptive Brake, brake drying, cruise control, rain sensors, hill start assist, etc.
The C-Class Grand Edition is offered in both petrol and diesel engines. The C200 uses a 1.8-litre engine to output 186 HP of power and 285 Nm of torque while the C220 CDI’s 2.2-litre motor produces 170 HP of power and 400 Nm of torque. Both engines are coupled to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox. The petrol C-Class Grand Edition is priced at Rs. 36.81 lakhs while the diesel model is priced at Rs. 39.16 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Mercedes has unveiled the all new C-Class globally which will come to India only next year.