Mercedes-Benz has launched the ML250 CDI in the Indian market today. The ML250 CDI is the first variant of the M-Class to be locally assembled by Mercedes-Benz in India. The ML350 CDI will be assembled in India starting next month. The German automaker has sold 400 units of the new M-Class in the Indian market, which is very good compared to the last generation model. The Mercedes ML250 CDI is priced at Rs. 45.6 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune). Till date, Mercedes has sold 2000 units of the M-Class in India.
Read the 2012 Mercedes M-Class Review
In 2011, the M-Class lead the market of full sized SUVs by selling 600 units. Similar sales have been achieved in 2012 (till October). Mercedes has invested Rs. 600 crore at its Chakan facility. The company is also inaugurated its fully automated paint shop at its plant, which has an annual capacity of 20,000 units. This paint shop is spread over 17,000 square meters and can be extended to churn out 40,000 units a year. Mercedes has received 250 units of the B-Class in India and has closed sales for 2012. Bookings for next year have been opened.
The Mercedes ML250 CDI is powered by a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine which produces 206 PS of power and 500 Nm of torque. The smaller engine gives the M-Class lower price, which enables it to compete with the BMW X3 30d and Audi Q5 3.0 TDI. Mercedes claims to have 80% market share in full size SUV segment and will start rolling out the GL-Class from its Chakan facility next year. The much awaited and important rival to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 will be launched in 2014, it is called the GLA.