Mercedes-Benz is taking a bold move as it plans to assemble its M-Class in India. The German automaker plans to go the CKD way for their SUV and will utilise their Chakan facility for the same. CKD operations for the M-Class will commence by the end of 2011 and will help reduce the price of the vehicle to around Rs. 45 lakhs. The M-Class costs Rs. 70 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai), whereas its German rivals the BMW X5 and Audi Q5 cost Rs. 69 lakhs and Rs. 58 lakhs respectively. The Audi Q5 is also locally assembled in India and takes advantage of the lower excise duties.
“Assembling the M-Class is the next step in adding more models to assembly in India. The demand for the M-Class is steadily growing and after the sedans, this model sees the highest demand. We are looking to start local assembly by next year, including the engine,” a senior Mercedes-Benz official said.
Source – Hindu Business Line