Report – Mercedes India commences CKD assembly of the GL Class
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
Mercedes-Benz India has rolled out the first locally assembled GL Class today at its Chakan plant near Pune.
The luxury car maker launched the 2013 Mercedes GL Class in May at 77.5 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). The Edition 1 (first 100 units) cars were imported as CBU. Now having sold off the imported units, Mercedes commenced the CKD assembly of the SUV which carries a reduced price tag of Rs. 72.58 lakhs (ex-showroom Pune).
The price reduction is marginal since the original price tag itself was in the ballpark of CKD pricing, according to Mecedes. The GL Class is the fifth Merc to be assembled at the Pune plant, the other four being the S Class, E Class, C Class and the ML Class.
The Pune plant becomes the only manufacturing facility to assemble the 7-seater SUV apart from the home plant at Tuscaloosa, USA. Mercedes say that local production would result in faster vehicle availability, flexible production scheduling and cost benefit to customers.
The India-spec GL 350 CDI is powered by a 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine that is mated to a 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic transmission. The motor develops 258hp and a massive torque of 619 Nm. Mercedes has bestowed the car with spades of safety, comfort and off-road equipment.
The made-in-India GL Class is available in three exterior color options – Obsidian Black, Polar White (both in an Almond Beige interior) and Palladium Silver (with black interior).
The local assembly gives the SUV a competitive price tag enabling it to take on market leader Audi Q7 with an added strength.
Official press release attached on Page 2.