Mercedes-Benz India expand CKD kits in India
Mercedes-Benz is to expand their completely knocked down (CKD) kits assembly operations in India. This will start with the assembly of the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class SUV, which is expected to be released in the country very soon.
Cut price 2.2 litre diesel engine
The ML-Class SUV vehicle will be brought in already built allowing room for local assembly upon the car. Using the CKD system, a 2.2 litre diesel engine will be assembled for the vehicle towards the end of 2012. This particular engine is expected to sell very well as it is more catered towards the current demand and market trend in India. Many will prefer this cut price version of the car. This will rival the likes of the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, both of which contain a diesel engine of a similar size.
The 2.2 litre manufactured normally
The 2.2 litre diesel variant will be able to produce 204 BHP. It will be offered as a cut price version of the vehicle but will still contain a great amount of quality.
A powerful ML63 AMG could be released
There are rumours the Mercedes-Benz will release the ML63 AMG, which will be an extremely powerful high performance version of the model. There has been no official confirmation of this as of yet from Mercedes-Benz.
Rivals expected to follow suit
Using the CKD method, Mercedes-Benz will save a lot of money. The process will occur at the companies Chakan plant. Audi will follow the same route with their Audi Q7 being made from the CKD process later on this year. BMW are also planning a CKD process for their flagship X5 SUV. Mercedes-Benz couldn’t have thought that competitors wouldn’t go down the same path?
Bringing down the costs
The CKD heavily brings down the costs of production and therefore allows the cars to be more competitively priced in India. The price of cars in India is a very important factor, as customers are very specific and will not pay for a vehicle that is overpriced. The SUV market is a very tough one to crack with Mercedes-Benz having a lot of work to do.
Production capacity expanded
Mercedes-Benz India have also announced plans to expand production capacity in India, as the luxury car market is expected to receive a great boom. Capacity at their factory in Chakan will grow this year.