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Old 26th August 2013, 13:46   #1
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Default Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Link to News Added

Mercedes Benz India has commenced assembly of the GL 350 CDI luxury SUV through the CKD (completely knocked down) kit route. The only other location where the GL-Class SUV is built, is at Mercedes Benz's mother plant in the United States, at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Therefore, Mercedes Benz India's Chakan assembly unit, off Pune, is the second location at which the GL-Class luxury SUV is built.

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CKD assembly of the GL-Class has reduced prices by about 5 lakh rupees, given the fact that the first 100 units of the SUV were imported into India through the completely built unit (CBU) route. Launched as the "Launch Edition" models, the first 100 units of the GL-Class SUV were priced at 77.50 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. The "Launch Edition" models featured an AMG body and interiors kit, stuff that isn't available on locally assembled model.

The CKD assembled GL-Class is priced at 72.58 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Pune, and considering the absence of the AMG kit, the price difference between the CBU import and CKD assembled models of the GL-Class is quite minimal. The narrow difference between CKD and CBU prices may be attributed to the depreciating Indian rupee. Mercedes Benz's Chakan facility has now been expanded for the assembly of 20,000 units/year, which is double the previous assembly capacity of 10,000 units/year.

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The GL-Class SUV is the first model to be assembled at Chakan, with the other four being the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class and the ML-Class models. Mercedes Benz also plans of CKD assembling the A-Class and B-Class hatchbacks from early 2014. The GL-Class is powered by a 3 liter-V6 turbo diesel engine that churns out 258 Bhp of peak power and 620 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a 7 speed automatic gearbox that drives all four wheels of the SUV.

The GL 350 CDI SUV is capable of accommodating 7 adults and comes with a host of safety features and creature comforts. Cross wind stabilization, panoramic sun roof for all three rows of passengers and an active park assist system are a few noteworthy features on the GL-Class SUV. The SUV competes with the likes of the Audi Q7 and the BMW X5 models. In its second generation, the 2013 GL 350 CDI SUV comes with larger dimensions when compared with those of its predecessor.

Last edited by JayPrashanth : 26th August 2013 at 13:47. Reason: News Link Added
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Old 26th August 2013, 20:43   #2
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The first ever Mercedes GL-Class to be produced outside of the United States rolled off the assembly line at the company's Chakan plant earlier today. Team-BHP was present to cover the event.
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Mercedes-Benz India MD & CEO Eberhard Kern delivers an introductory speech:
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This is followed by the plant visit and rollout ceremony. At the entrance is a reminder of humble beginnings...
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The plant looks clean. Everything in its place and a place for everything, as you would expect from the Germans.
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Mercedes-Benz claims the Chakan plant lives up to all its production benchmarks thanks to new flexible assembly lines using synchronized conveyor systems and latest-generation PLC control units for all equipment. The plant uses technology-enabled processes like EMS-Transfer, X-Road-Dynamic testing & programming, shower testing the cabin and others to help maintain high standards of quality that the company prides itself on.
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Every class of Mercedes seemed to be under production, except the S. Gearing up for the upcoming launch, no doubt! Sadly, no AMGs in sight...
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Last edited by noopster : 27th August 2013 at 00:24.
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Old 26th August 2013, 22:33   #3
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Default Re: Mercedes GL Factory Rollout

Mercedes-Benz claims that the GL roll-out at the Chakan plant further deepens its India commitment. The second-generation GL-Class 350 CDI was launched as a CBU this May as a full-size luxury SUV, which the company says is a fast-growing segment in the Indian automotive industry. Mercedes roped in Boris Becker for the launch and claims the CBU edition sold out its 100 unit lot within 15 days.

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The GL descends from the assembly line onto the factory floor. Herr Kern screws in the final component, the unmistakable three-pointed star, and it's celebration time!
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The world's first GL not to roll out off Mercedes' Tuscaloosa, AL plant:
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Kern was not willing to comment on projected volumes of the new range or even the % mix across models that Mercedes is aiming for in India.

Last edited by noopster : 27th August 2013 at 00:27.
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Old 26th August 2013, 23:51   #4
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Default Off-roading with the GL!

To make things more interesting, Mercedes organised a drive on its off-road track at the plant. This was exciting because I had never ever off-roaded before. And certainly not in a car this expensive!

The off-road experience almost didn't materialize because of nagging rain in Pune this past week. However it was relatively dry when it visited and we could use every segment of the track except the 40 degree straight incline, which was ruled out as too dangerous given the conditions.

It was pretty simple in the end. An instructor led us on a dry run- well, more like a sticky run!- and then guided each of us as we took the wheel. Not much to report except that I did not disgrace myself and that the GL held up splendidly, despite the two cars on offer not having the off-road package and being fitted with road tyres not all-terrain ones.

Let the pics do the talking...!

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To give an idea of how it felt like from the inside, here's a video I shot while sitting in the rear seat with the Mercedes professional driving. The camera is held more or less horizontal while shooting which should give you an idea how much the incline is.


Last edited by noopster : 27th August 2013 at 00:17.
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Old 27th August 2013, 15:39   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

A full CKD at 72lakhs and just 5 lakhs lesser than the CBU does not make sense. The CBU one had AMG kit but the CKD one has high profile tyres which look weird.

Either they absorb the extra tax for CBU cars or they don't pass the benefit once it's a CKD.
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Old 27th August 2013, 16:53   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Either they absorb the extra tax for CBU cars or they don't pass the benefit once it's a CKD.
They absorb some tax for the CBU cars. They did the same for the E, and the ML when it was launched.
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Old 27th August 2013, 18:22   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
A full CKD at 72lakhs and just 5 lakhs lesser than the CBU does not make sense. The CBU one had AMG kit but the CKD one has high profile tyres which look weird.

Either they absorb the extra tax for CBU cars or they don't pass the benefit once it's a CKD.
They also need to account for the depreciating rupee.

The GL is very capable, not as ultracapable as the Range Rover, but considering we were let loose off road in Ladakh with the old style GL for two days, the cars kept going. No doubt, the new one will be even better
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Old 27th August 2013, 21:27   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
A full CKD at 72lakhs and just 5 lakhs lesser than the CBU does not make sense. The CBU one had AMG kit but the CKD one has high profile tyres which look weird.

Either they absorb the extra tax for CBU cars or they don't pass the benefit once it's a CKD.
If I remember correctly, Mercedes Benz India, during the launches of the A-Class, B-Class and GL-Class has maintained that the pricing factors in CKD assembly. So, the higher price for the launch edition is mainly due to the AMG kit. Also, these so-called launch edition models are imported through the CBU route in limited numbers (for example, 100 in the GL's case). We had a similar situation in case of the ML-Class too and I won't be too surprised to see a reprise in case of the A-Class and B-Class.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 27th August 2013, 22:00   #9
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
A full CKD at 72lakhs and just 5 lakhs lesser than the CBU does not make sense. The CBU one had AMG kit but the CKD one has high profile tyres which look weird.

Either they absorb the extra tax for CBU cars or they don't pass the benefit once it's a CKD.
Being low volume, the premium luxury offering would not pass full benefit of tax saving to the customer. After all, they need to recover the investments made for the model by selling considerably less numbers.
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Old 29th October 2013, 13:13   #10
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Mercedes plans new model onslaught.


Mercedes' new S 500 V8 will be introduced via the CBU route by year end, followed by the CLA compact saloon in 2014 and the GLA in 2015.

The flagship S-class saloon will be the first to debut in its range-topping 455bhp V8 S 500 guise. The carmaker will introduce this car in India via the CBU route and some dealers in Mumbai have already started taking bookings.

Mercedes will follow it up with the launch of the S 350 CDI V6 diesel, which will account for the majority of sales and will be assembled in India as a CKD, as well as some other engine options.

Soon after the launch of the S 500, Mercedes will bring in its CLA compact saloon. It is the third model on Mercedes’ front-wheel-drive MFA platform after the A- and B-class.

Next up will be another MFA platform-based SUV, the GLA in 2015, and the GLK SUV in 2016.


Source:ACI

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th October 2013 at 18:27. Reason: typo
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Old 3rd November 2015, 08:16   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes Benz India commences CKD assembly of GL-Class SUV

Scoop pictures of the new Mercedes GLS.

The pictures show the new GLS has moved significantly further upmarket than the GL on which it is based. The badging of the GLS is likely designed to give the SUV the same luxury credentials as the flagship S-Class.

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The AMG Line variant
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