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Old 1st March 2012, 15:14   #1
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Default PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Note : Dippy's detailed report of the Merc Factory visit can be found at this link (A Tri Pointed Star Travelogue with Pics: Trip to the Mercedes Benz Plant Chakan, Pune)

This facility at Chakan has an annual capacity of 10,000 cars, built in 2 shifts by their team. This capacity will be doubled by the end of this year. As of now, Mercedes locally assembles the S-Class, E-Class and C-class cars at Chakan. The C.B.U Range includes GL, M, CLS, SLK, SL, CL, E Coupe, E Cabriolet, R & G-Wagen, as well as the AMG range of performance cars.

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-sunrise-mercedesbenz.jpg

High Points:
  • The B-Class will enter the Indian market in late 2012 (Can expect an early unveil though).
  • The Mercedes Facility at Pune (Chakan) will get an independent paint shop. The current paint-work is carried out at the Tata Motors facility. The new independent paint shop will be functional only in the 3rd quarter.
  • The new paint shop will use water base paints which are far more environment friendly.
  • ML350 will be the first Mercedes manufactured with the help of the local paint facility.
  • Mercedes claims that by 2015, their expanded product portfolio will touch more market segments.

Last edited by GTO : 4th March 2012 at 19:55. Reason: Adding link to related thread
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Old 1st March 2012, 15:30   #2
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PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-bclass.jpg
B-Class:
  • It will be placed in the market as a Sports Tourer.
  • The B-Class will be in the price range of 21-25 lakh.
  • Approximately 4.3m long.
  • The B-Class might get a 1.8L forced-induction engine. The B-Class is expected to have the cabin space of a C-Class.
  • The B-Class will initially be a CKD or CBU? All depends on the volumes.
  • B-Class will also be available with the STAR Lease option.

Details shared by Mr. Peter Honegg:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-mr-peter-honegg.jpg


Other Points:
  • By 2015, Mercedes will have the GLC to rival the BMW X1. Also, the GLK is coming.
  • Mercedes sent across a few C63 AMGs to their dealers for customer test-drives.
  • The longer wheelbase C-Class and E-Class are already on sale in China, but no plans to enter India as of now. Reason: Available in LHD configuration only.
  • Mercedes will begin with CKD assembly of the GL-Class by next year.
  • Mercedes is building a Brand Centre known as "Auto House 1000" in Delhi. This will be one of the biggest Brand Centres Mercedes has in Asia and will be spread over 60,000 sq.ft. It might also include several Vintage Mercedes. 5 floors and almost 30 cars to be displayed here.
  • The fleet sales for Mercedes grew from 9% to 15% in 2011-12.

A cheaper S-Class variant: (Expected soon)
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-dscf2396.jpg
  • The Black S-Class seen here is the stripped down variant - The S300.
  • The S300 will be powered by a 3.0L V6 petrol engine producing 228 BHP power and 300 Nm of torque.
  • It is a SKD (semi-knock down) model where the entire body frame is imported, unlike the other CKD models.
  • This will be the entry level S-Class saloon.

Last edited by GTO : 5th March 2012 at 10:32. Reason: Swapping GLC & GLK.
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Old 1st March 2012, 15:41   #3
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Default re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

We took a quick walk inside the plant:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-1.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-2.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-3.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-4.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-5.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-6.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-7.jpg

This is where adhesive is applied to the frame:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-8.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-9.jpg

Notice the model specific trim assembly lines:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-10.jpg

Employees mark which CKD box was opened, and for which model:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-11.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-12.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-13.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-14.jpg

Suspension and brake assembly being mounted:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-15.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-16.jpg

The Transmission:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-17.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-19.jpg

The car is driven over an undulated patch to bed in the suspension:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-20.jpg

Washed with high pressure jets before being inspected for quality / scratches:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-facility-21.jpg

The CKD Parts:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-ckd-parts-3.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-ckd-parts-4.jpg

All the CKD parts are not just model specific, but also mention which variant they are manufactured for:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-ckd-parts-1.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-ckd-parts-2.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-suspension-1.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-suspension-2.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 2nd March 2012 at 13:56.
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Old 1st March 2012, 15:48   #4
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Default re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

The Mercedes E-Class' interior trim assembly line (Exact Sequence):

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-1.jpg

Electrical sockets being placed:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-2.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-3.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-4.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-5.jpg

Dashboard mount:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-6.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-7.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-8.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-9.jpg

The seats being fitted:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-10.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-11.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-12.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-13.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-14.jpg

Panel gaps being checked manually:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-dscf2420.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-dscf2421.jpg

Last stage where the car finally wears the three-pointed star:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-end-1.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-assembly-line-end-3.jpg

Factory Layout:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-paint-facility-map.jpg

The Audit Room: A freshly manufactured car is picked out randomly, and then put through an 8-hour quality audit:
PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-audit-room-1.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 2nd March 2012 at 14:04.
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Old 1st March 2012, 16:04   #5
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Default re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

A quick spin:

Line-up available for a quick drive. The mix included AMGs as well.

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-1.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-2.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-5.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-6.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-7.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-8.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-3.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-4.jpg

PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)-drive-9.jpg


Last edited by GTO : 2nd March 2012 at 14:06.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 14:13   #6
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd March 2012, 14:38   #7
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Good to get to know the benzes being manufactured. This brought back my memories of my visit ti PAL to see Premier Padminis getting manufactured.
But how come you could get all those clicks? Any special permission was needed?
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Old 2nd March 2012, 16:07   #8
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Wonderful!

I bet this must have been an amazing experience.

Could you share what percentage of the assembly process is automated and what is manual?
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Old 2nd March 2012, 16:24   #9
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Parrys thanks for sharing the manufacturing of the Three Pointed Stars in India.

Finally got to see manufacturing of Mercedes with so many models done at the very same plant, Mega-factory just like in Nat Geo.

Parrys was it it a special only by invite preview or can anyone who wishes to have a look get himself registered to have a peek at the factory?
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Old 2nd March 2012, 17:12   #10
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
But how come you could get all those clicks? Any special permission was needed?
Quote:
Originally Posted by el lobo 6061 View Post
Parrys was it it a special only by invite preview or can anyone who wishes to have a look get himself registered to have a peek at the factory?
Mercedes had invited us (Team-BHP) to visit their facility. So it was by invitation only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Could you share what percentage of the assembly process is automated and what is manual?
As you can see from the pictures, the interior trims are worked upon manually and the body shell assembly is automated, which obviously is manually supervised. In terms of exact percentage - I really cannot tell.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 17:46   #11
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Thanks for sharing!

1) I do not see anyone wearing (operators+visitors) helmet. It is dangerous, I do not know why company like MB doing this!

2) Look at the way panel gaps are checked. If you use the same on some Desi models whole set will go inside!!
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Old 2nd March 2012, 18:07   #12
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Great pictures. Quite an insight on how one of the leading automotive manufacturers goes around doing it business. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 18:09   #13
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

By the way, are MBIL cars also exported ?

How many cars are shipped out per month?

Thank you for a nice walk around through the shop floor.

Last edited by nanduchitnis : 2nd March 2012 at 18:17.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 18:11   #14
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Questions!

- Any idea what is the customs duty on SKD (semi knocked down) as against CKD models? I wonder how cheap the new S-class would be.

- Painting is done by Tata Motors? I see unpainted body panels in some of the pics. So these are trucked to Tata Motors plant, painted and brought back in? I'm surprised they don't have their own paint facility yet. Is it expensive to setup one?

- Looks like the engine and gearbox are still imported. In a typical C class or E class, what are the "Made In India" parts? Tyres? Interior trim?
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Old 2nd March 2012, 18:29   #15
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Default Re: PICS : A Day at the Mercedes Factory (Chakan, MH)

Quote:
Originally Posted by parrys View Post
  • The Mercedes Facility at Pune (Chakan) will get an independent paint shop. The current paint-work is carried out at the Tata Motors facility.
This is surprising, never knew this was happening.

Any idea how much time does a car take for completion in the assembly lines, from trimming to roll out? Thinking on the ramp up front.

Thanks !

Spike
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