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Old 19th April 2009, 19:19   #1
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Default A Tri Pointed Star Travelogue with Pics: Trip to the Mercedes Benz Plant Chakan, Pune

This is my first travelogue that I am posting and it is a special one at that. It is not everyday that you get a chance to visit and see an automotive manufacturing plant in so much detail. So when me and Kartik(Fireblader85) got an offer to visit the all new Mercedes Benz Plant at Chakan, Pune,we just couldnt refuse. The trip was spread over two days in total. Over the next few posts I will describe in detail what has been one of most awesome automotive experiences till date. There are loads of pictures which I will be posting along with my report. So I hope all of you enjoy reading the blog and seeing the pictures as much I enjoyed posting it.

A special Thank You to fellow BHPian Hanmust for his support in organising this trip for us. Pictures taken by Kartik.

Day 1 : 17th April 2009

Me and Kartik left for Chakan from Pune City at 8 AM. The drive to Chakan is pretty good leave aside a few bad patches of road. As we near the Benz Plant, we see something quite surprising..

A Brembo Factory in Chakan

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After clicking Brembo, we arrive at the Main Gate of Mercedes Benz Pune. A couple of pictures of the main building.

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What you see below in the picture is the Customer Centre where we were welcomed and served refreshments before we set off on our tour

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contd..

Last edited by Dippy : 19th April 2009 at 23:10.
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Old 19th April 2009, 19:31   #2
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First up on our tour was a visit to the Training Centre. A mega Mercedes Benz Actros Truck welcomed us at the enterance. This is a 11.9 litre monster, 400bhp, 16 forward gears and 2 reverse. The cabin is luxurious complete with AC and power windows. A few pics

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We then enter the Training Centre

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We meet up with Mr Deshmukh who heads the training dept. at the plant. he explains to us how the whole training process works. Mercedes has now tied up with Govt. Polytechnic Pune to offer a technical course for students.

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We get a chance to witness a training session in progress. Students are learning to use the Star Diagnostics tool. The tool is connected to the E Class seen in the background and display is projected on the screen in the classroom

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Coming up... The Passenger car assembly line

Last edited by Dippy : 19th April 2009 at 19:35.
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Old 19th April 2009, 19:47   #3
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We now headed to the main assembly plant for passenger cars

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We entered the plant and were amazed at the cleanliness of the whole place. Absolutely spick and span.

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A Mercedes E Class starts its life like this. Side body panels for the E.

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The body panels are then welded to the base of the car using high tech welding process before it moves on to the next stage

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In the next stage the E skeleton gets its doors, boot, bonnet and fenders

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Note the colour difference between the body panels. The boot, fenders, bonnet and roof are made of aluminum while the rest is steel. The body is now ready to go to Tata Motors for the paint job. C and E Glass go to Tata Motors while the S Class body comes pre painted from Germany

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contd...

Last edited by Dippy : 19th April 2009 at 19:50.
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:04   #4
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We then move on to the main assembly line where we see an S Class ready to be put together

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Doors and dash going onto the S Class

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All cars have to pass a lighting test to see if the paint has come up properly

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Few more pictures of the assembly line. C Class this time

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A photo of engine and axles ready to be mounted onto a C

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S Class exhausts waiting to be mounted

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All cars go through an underbody leak test

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Cars are then sent for a shower leak test where they are checked for leaks through sunroof and other places

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The final stage is quality control and a new Mercedes Benz is born

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Coming up... Meet with Dr. Wilfred Aulbur

Last edited by Dippy : 19th April 2009 at 20:08.
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:23   #5
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We proceeded to the main building where we would meet Dr. Wilfred Aulbur, the MD of Mercedes Benz India. In the lobby was a replica of the Benz Patent car.

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We eventually got to meet Dr. Aulbur. Here is Hanmust presenting a memento to him

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Dr. Aulbur's desk

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From L to R : Prashant(The Cameraman), Hanmust and Dr. Aulbur

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From L to R : Me, Dr. Aulbur and Hanmust

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A few more pictures from the main building and around

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A piece of history

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Coming up.. Pictures of display cars

Last edited by Dippy : 19th April 2009 at 22:12.
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:30   #6
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An S500 we found in the premises.

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Now for the display cars. First a CLS 320CDi

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Coming up... SLK 200 and M Class
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:35   #7
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The SLK on display

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The M Class. Loved the colour on this one

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Coming up... random pictures from Day 1
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:39   #8
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Some more random and final pictures from Day 1

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The Tri Pointed Star in all its glory

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That is the end of day one. An unforgettable experience but just wait for Day 2 Coming right up...
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:49   #9
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Day 2 19/04/09 : AMG Sunday


The day began early as we reached the plant early in the morning at 7 AM. On reaching we came face to face with our toys for the day


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Some shots of the SLK55 AMG

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Kartik posing for his shaadi.com pic

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and mine

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Coming up.... the mighty SL63 AMG
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Old 19th April 2009, 20:58   #10
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Here it is. The mighty SL63 AMG. Looks killer in black. Got a chance to play with it a bit. Did I like it? Its good but the SL55 AMG is much better. A super charger on this is badly missed. More show than go. Nice sounding exhaust though

A few shots from the camera

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Before I went to play

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Hanmust at play

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Another shaadi.com pic

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Coming up... the finale

Last edited by Dippy : 19th April 2009 at 21:08.
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Old 19th April 2009, 21:06   #11
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My thread cannot end without a mention of this one. She was our transportation from Pune to the Mercedes Plant at Chakan and back. Gorgeous isnt she? Belongs to a dear friend.


Pretty picture aint it?

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The badge

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Hamann

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And the rest of the pictures

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This is the end. An experience I will never forget. Pictures dont do justice to show the kind of work that goes behind the making of these wonderful automobiles. It is to be seen to be believed. Hope to make some more trips like these to other places. A note of thanks to all at Mercedes Benz who made our trip a memorable one and thank you Hanmust again for everything.

Last edited by Dippy : 20th April 2009 at 11:58.
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Old 19th April 2009, 21:21   #12
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wow. great report dippy. the amgs look really good. so thats the second m3 to be visiting the merc factory in the past month or so?
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Old 19th April 2009, 21:23   #13
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Wow Dippy & Kartya - you guys must have had an amazing experience.

What an elaborate pictorial description of the assembly line and insides of the factory!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy
My thread cannot end without a mention of this one.
You cheeky fellows - visit a Mercedes factory in a BMW, an M3 at that.
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Old 19th April 2009, 21:23   #14
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hey, why did you guys limit the pics to the shaadi.com profile ones? A few nice ones burning rubber and going sideways would have been nice!
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Old 19th April 2009, 21:25   #15
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Wooo... super stuff Dippy.. I am so Jealous!!
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