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Mercedes to make CLA-Class sedan at Chakan

Rutam Vora | | Updated on: Oct 06, 2014

GLA Class

Production likely to begin from first quarter of 2015 at Chakan unit

Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India is planning to locally produce one of its global hotcake models – CLA Class Sedan at its Chakan facility near Pune. The CLA Class Sedan, which will be the sixth model from Mercedes-Benz India’s stable to be manufactured locally, is slated to be launched in India by the first quarter of 2015.

On the sidelines of a launch in Ahmedabad on Monday, Boris Fitz, vice-president – Sales and Network Development, Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd confirmed that Mercedes’s CLA Class Sedan will be manufactured locally. However, it is not yet clear as to when the production will begin.

The localisation is believed to help company reduce costs and give a competitive price to the new model. However, the prices were not revealed at present. The model is believed to compete with Audi's A3 sedan in India.

Currently, Mercedes makes five models, three sedans – S-Class, E-Class, C-Class and two SUV models GL-Class and the M-Class locally. The A-Class, B-Class, CLS-Class and SLK-Class are Completely Built Imported units.

Mercedes is sourcing about 40 per cent of its required parts for the five models from Indian suppliers. This includes engine, transmission, wiring, and paint among others.

 

Notably, at the 12th Auto Expo held in New Delhi earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz had showcased the CLA 45 AMG, which had received good amount of attention from car enthusiasts.

 

The German car maker has already initiated expansion at its Chakan facility to double the capacity from the existing 10,000 units per year. “We had invested Rs 600 crore for setting up this plant. The doubling of the capacity will be done with an additional investment of Rs 250 crore at the same site,” said Boris Fitz, vice-president – Sales and Network Development, Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd.

 

According to Fitz, the luxury car segment in the country has witnessed increased interest from young buyers. “We are experiencing more demand for our luxury compact cars A and B Class from young customers including women. Also SUVs like GL, GLA and M-Class are high in demand from the next generation customers. These segments are growing faster than the traditional sedan segments,” said Fitz, who was in town for launch of GLA-Class SUV in the state.

 

Out of the total car sales of 7,529 units during January-September 2014 period, about 20 per cent is compact cars (A-Class and B-Class), while 25 per cent is SUVs. The SUV segment has witnessed 100 per cent sales growth against last year, while overall sales have increased by 16 per cent against last year.

 

Mercedes-Benz has so far received 600 bookings from across the country for its recently-launched SUV GLA-Class. 

 

“Out of 600 bookings nationally, about 70 are from Gujarat. The state is a big market for Mercedes. Gujarat contributes nearly 7.5 per cent to national sales,” said Sanjay Thakker, chairman, Benchmark Cars – a Mercedes dealer in Ahmedabad. Mercedes has four showrooms across Gujarat, while nationally it has 65 outlets spread across 36 cities.

Published on October 06, 2014
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