Pune: Mercedes has hit the 20,000 mark for its made-in-India cars and it is, perhaps, fitting that it is an E-Class as almost half of all Mercedes cars sold in India are E-class.
For Mercedes, the Indian drive has been one of the most special. The company says it will grow more than 50 per cent in the next 2-3 years.
“With the current developments, we are on a very good path and I am sure this path will continue for the next 5-10 years,” said Mercedes Benz (India) MD and CEO, Wilfriend Aulbur.
Last year, Mercedes sold 2,500 cars, which is more than half of India's luxury car market of 4,500 units. This year the company says it will sell more than 4,000 units.
It's no longer just about cars for Mercedes has introduced the Actros range of trucks, which will also contribute significantly to its sales volumes.
“Our task is to get significant and enough volumes in the market. It is currently not a demand problem we are having,” Aulbur stated.
To satisfy this robust demand, Mercedes is moving out of its current facility to a plant that is five times larger.
The current facility has a capacity of 4,000 units annually but the new plant at Chakan will start with a capacity of 5,000 units. It is not the only the popular cars that will be assembled there; the company will also assemble Actros trucks along with bus chassis.
Mercedes Benz buses are expected to hit Indian roads in the second half of 2008.
The new plant will come up at an investment of Rs 250 crores and can be ramped up to a capacity of 20,000 units over the next 5-8 years.