The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fourth Merc model set to roll out of Pune plant

New Delhi, Oct 7: DaimlerChrysler India is planning to add one more model to the range of the cars it manufactures at its Pune plant. The car, an E-class sedan that will be formally launched next month, will be the fourth model to be made locally.

“The vehicle will not be from the range of cars that we displayed at the Auto Expo in January which carried high price tags and would not be able to secure volumes in India,” said company officials.

DaimlerChrysler India is also considering the possibility of manufacturing an M-class vehicle, an off-roader that has kindled interest among motoring aficionados.

The company makes the E220 CDI (common rail direct injection) and E240 in India at a price of Rs 30.70 lakh and Rs 31.62 lakh respectively. Its international portfolio has three more E-class variants—the E320, the E270 CDI and the E500.

In addition to the C-class (180 Kompressor), E-class and S-class (320 CDI) that Mercedes manufactures in India, the company also offers a range of completely built units (CBU)—the SL class (SL 500), M class 270 CDI, C-class sports coupe, SLK-class, CLK-class Cabriolet and A class—the smallest car in their portfolio.

“Among all the CBUs that we are currently offering in India, the M-class has received the best response. The enthusiasm for the car is so high that we are actively considering manufacturing the vehicle in India. However, this is a long shot proposal at the moment and will probably take a year to mature. We need to crank up the volumes before we put the plan into action,” he said.

Mercedes plans to sell 1,400 cars this fiscal, a 10 per cent growth over last year.

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