October 10, 2012

Mercedes-Benz announces start of local production of new M-class

Mercedes-Benz India announced a double whammy in the Indian luxury automobile industry by rolling out it's first locally manufactured M-class from its world-class facility in Chakan, Pune and also declared the start of operations of its state-of-the-art technologically advanced
paint-shop, capable of environment friendly water based painting. The roll-out of the M-class and the inauguration of the paint-shop were done by Peter Honegg, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, Ralf Mungenast, Director, International Productions, Daimler AG and Piyush Arora, Director, Technical, Mercedes-Benz India.

New M-class 250 CDI
The M-class was one of the first luxury SUV in the world and pioneered the segment in India just like in other world markets. Till date an estimated 2,000 units of the M-class have been sold in the Indian market as Completely Built Units (CBU) since its launch in India. The M-class remained the undisputed leader in the luxury full-size SUV segment by selling close to 600 units in January- December 2011 and also an equal number in the first nine months of 2012.

The new M-class 250 CDI production involves the use of latest technology in Mercedes-Benz India's world-class production facility. The production involves using synchronised conveyor systems, use of latest generation PLC control units for all equipments which provide adaptability with different models on common production lines, thus increasing the flexibility of the production. Standard processes from across the value chain right through the finished car production are followed under stringent quality environment. The use of technology enabled processes like EMS - Transfer, production lines with latest generation controllers, X-road–Dynamic testing and programming of cars, Frequency controlled measurements for accuracy, shower testing cabin - for simulation of real rain test, high pressure jets and dynamic movement of cars, etc are a benchmark and helps deliver the highest quality products that roll out of the assembly lines of the company's plant at Chakan.

"The luxury SUV is the fastest growing segment in the Indian automotive industry and the new M-class is the leader in its category. The benefits of local production have been realized in the form of aggressive pricing, easier production availability and flexible production scheduling- each of these will benefit the discerning customers and ensure greater appeal of the M-class in the high growth luxury SUV segment. The M-class 250 CDI priced at Rs. 45.64 lakh (ex-showroom Pune) and 46.50 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), is the first M-class ever to be offered from a local production outside Mercedes-Benz's SUV plant in Tuscaloosa, USA. India becomes the 'first' market in the world to enjoy this elite status and further highlights Daimler AG's focus and commitment on the Indian market," said Peter Honegg, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.

Paint-shop operational
Mercedes-Benz India also announced the start of operations of its state-of-the-art technologically advanced paint-shop located within its Chakan facility. The paint-shop is capable of water based painting using highly sophisticated and environment friendly water based painting technology. The paint-shop of Mercedes-Benz India is fully automated and maintains identical painting standards in line with stringent global standards of Daimler. The key highlights of Mercedes-Benz's technologically superior paint-shop include the flow of cars with latest communication systems for conveyors and tracking of each and every car at every stage with RFID systems. The control of all the equipments are through a central server and automated feedback loops for equipment ensures optimum settings according to the process and environmental conditions.

The paint-shop also boasts of sophisticated checking laboratories with the latest equipment. The automated selections of colors are enabled for robots and an online status of input and output offers flexibility and complete control in production sequencing.

"The new paint-shop at Mercedes-Benz India Chakan facility now positions us as a global benchmark within Mercedes-Benz world. This underscores our bullish outlook for Indian market and we look forward to introducing more locally produced vehicles for the discerning Indian customers. The paint-shop and the additional assembly lines will be the cornerstone in Mercedes-Benz's product offensive for the foreseeable future," said Piyush Arora, Director, Technical, Mercedes-Benz India.

The paint-shop has an annual capacity of 20,000 units which is extendable to 40,000 units annually. The level of refinement, implementation of advanced technology and flexible processes positions this amongst the most sophisticated in India. With an approximate total area of 17,000 sq m, the new paint-shop of Mercedes-Benz India was created within a record time of 16 months.


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