August 7, 2010 3:57:49 am
Mercedes-Benz India will soon ramp up production at its facility in Chakan by the end of this year . Currently,Chakan plant assembles around 5,000 completely knocked down (CKD) units. By starting a second shift,the company aims at meeting increasing demands for Mercedes-Benz cars in the country. Interacting with reporters here on Friday,Wilfred Aulbur Managing Director and CEO,Mercedes Benz India,said that the company would be increasing the number of employees from the present strength of 556.
The company sold a total of 521 units which is a growth of 80 per cent over the corresponding period in the previous year (288 units in July 2009). Driving the record numbers was the E-Class with 212 units and the SUVs which witnessed the highest sales ever in any given month. In the Jan-July period it sold 2,922 units and a growth of about 80 per cent over 2009, he said.
Aulbur said the luxury car segment was fast picking up pace in the country and purchase of 100 Mercedes Benz cars from Aurangabad shows that even tier-I and tier-II cities now have purchasing power. We are analysing the purchasing powers of Tier I,Tier II cities and based on that we will be starting our operations. Gujarat,Maharashtra and Kerala were good market for us apart from the metro cities, he said.
The company had established a production facility spread over 100 acres in Chakan last year with an investment of 250 crore. The facility has independent assembly facilities for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
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The facility has local assembly facility for S-class,new E-class and C-class ranges. Completely built imported cars include GL-Class,M-Class,CLS-Class,SLK-Class among others.
Mercedes Benz last year launched the inter-city bus of which the chassis is assembled at the company’s plant in Pune. The company also announced their foray into the city bus segment in June this year. The trial run of the bus is being carried out in various cities,including Pune,in collaboration with transport utilities. The company plans to start production of the city buses from the third quarter of 2011.
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