Last year, it was reported that the Mercedes GLB will be launched in India. However, IndianAutosBlog.com can reveal now that the Mercedes GLB has been ruled out for our market.
For customers finding the Mercedes GLA too small and/or almost a hatchback, the more practical Mercedes GLB with a tougher design, which was achieved mainly by more powerful proportions and a bigger body, was introduced in June 2019. Unlike the Mercedes GLA, the Mercedes GLB is made in a 7-seat version as well. For those in India dreaming about owning what could have been the cheapest 7-seat luxury SUV bearing the three-pointed star, or even the 5-seat version of the same, there is bad news.
Speaking to IndianAutosBlog.com recently, Santosh Iyer, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz India, disclosed the company's strategy in the compact luxury vehicle segment. When asked if there was a plan to launch the Mercedes GLB, below is what Iyer said:
No, not yet, because it's made in Mexico. There are no CKD options in the GLB. So there are no plans for GLB.
The Mercedes GLB is manufactured by COMPAS, a business entity 50:50 owned by Daimler and Nissan, at the Aguascalientes plant in Mexico, as well as by Beijing-Benz at the Beijing plant in China. However, the Chinese production is only for domestic sales. The eighth model in the German luxury automaker's compact family went up for orders internationally in August and was scheduled to reach showrooms at the end of the year. In Germany, it is priced from EUR 37,746.80.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB measures 4,634 mm in length, 1,834 mm in width and 1,658 mm (5-seat version)/1,662 mm (7-seat version) in height. It has a wheelbase of 2,829 mm. The India-bound second-gen Mercedes GLA is 4,410 mm long, 1,834 mm wide and 1,611 mm tall. Its wheelbase is 2,729 mm. The Mercedes GLB has the potential of being a runaway hit in India not just because of its higher practicality but also its unmistakable SUV character that is preferred by most Indian customers.
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Lastly, we'd also like to reveal that even though the government has relaxed the import norms to allow companies to easily test market their products to get a better understanding of whether they're worth localising, Mercedes-Benz India is not interested in importing its compact models as a CBU. The company is probably certain that the Mercedes GLB truly holds potential here and may launch it later during its lifecycle, once the production issues are sorted out. But at the moment, again, there's no launch plan.