Mercedes on the fastrack

Looking at twofold volume, setting up paint shop.

Mercedes Benz India is looking at doubling its capacity to 20,000 units a year. Investments are being made in new lines at Chakan for assembling passenger cars. With cars due for launch for the coming year, work will take place in two shift operations.

Investment of Rs 200 crore is also being infused to set up a paint shop which will paint over 20,000 units every year. This is set to be operational within a few months.

“The new lines being built are meant for production of the M-Class, B-Class and A-Class models. The Chakan facility already assembles the C, E and S-Class cars here. Production of the M-Class will begin at Pune by the year end. The hatchback was launched a month ago as a Completely Built Unit (CBU). Assembling of the B-Class, which is due for a launch by the end of 2012, again as a CBU, is expected begin in a year’s time, followed by the A-Class in another six month’s time.

“Our strategy is to introduce the cars as CBUs, but at a price of a car assembled locally, because we are entering new segments,” said Peter Honegg, Managing Director and CEO, MBI.