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Merc to assemble more models locally

Some Mercedes Benz models could cost substantially less in the future as the German luxury car giant is poised to assemble more models in India.

autos Updated: Jan 30, 2011 23:03 IST
Manu P Toms

Some Mercedes Benz models could cost substantially less in the future as the German luxury car giant is poised to assemble more models in India.

While its completely imported cars attract 110% customs duty, the knocked down units, once its components are assembled at the Indian car plants, attract just 10% as import duty. Hence, after excise and customs duty, local assembly — in comparison with imported completely built units — will reduce car prices by around 35%.

With its own paint-shop getting ready by next year, Mercedes Benz India will increase the number of locally assembled models, Suhas Kadlaskar, director, corporate affairs, told Hindustan Times.

The company is currently using Tata Motors’ paint-shop.

The company is assembling three models — the C Class, E Class and S Class —in India while importing the R Class, M Class and GLK Class and GL. M Class and GL Class, which are priced above R63 lakh, may next be considered for local assembly.

Of the 5,800 cars the company sold in 2010, as many as 5,150 were locally assembled. The company sold 2,500 units of the E Class range, which starts from Rs 39.4 lakh, while it sold 2,070 units of the Rs 29 lakh C-Class. The company sold 580 units of the high-end (Rs 83-97 lakh) S Class and 200 units of each M Class and GL Class.

Uwe Jarosch, chief financial officer, Mercedes-Benz India, said that the company may consider bringing its small cars A and B Class to India.

Its German rivals BMW and Audi have also mulled bringing to India their small car models, the Mini and A1 respectively.

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