Mercedes-Benz has begun production of the GLA SUV at its assembly plant in Pune, India, expanding its local production portfolio to six model series.
The plant has recently been extended and now has a capacity of 20,000 units annually, the largest for any luxury carmaker in India. With the production of the GLA, the Pune facility will build six different model series: S-, E- and C-Class sedans as well as GL, M-Class and GLA SUVs.
For the production of this new model, the plant received synchronized conveyor systems, new assembly lines and a new roller tester. Total investment at the Pune plant, which became active in 2009, amounts to about €150 million ($168 million). Mercedes-Benz expects the local assembly of the GLA to be a big success in India, as sales of the compact SUV tripled in the first quarter of 2015 in the local market.
“The start of production of the GLA in India marks the first time we are producing compact cars in our global assembly network along with sedans and SUVs. We are thus entering the next stage with our market-specific assembly, allowing us to serve local demands in a flexible and efficient manner according to highest quality standards,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management.
In addition to the Mercedes-Benz plant in India, this network includes locations in Thailand, Vietnam, Malayasia, Indonesia, and will be joined by Brazil in 2016 where a new assembly plant is currently being built. At these sites, Mercedes-Benz produces cars for local markets from vehicle kits (Completely Knocked Down/CKD and Semi Knocked Down/SKD).
News Source : Carscoops