German auto major Daimler today said it will start assembly of its luxury sports utility vehicles M and GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz's portfolio in India [ Images ] by next year.
Besides, the company will also start assembling the SUV in two South East Asian countries -- Thailand and Indonesia.
"The necessary preparations at the selected three production sites in India, Thailand and Indonesia are proceeding full steam ahead.
"Later on in the year, final assembly of the M-Class using SKD kits will start there for the respective local market," Daimler said in a statement on its website.
The kits for the SUVs are imported from Tuscaloosa in the US, it added.
"For the first time, Daimler will start the final assembly of the SUV model series for the new Mercedes-Benz M-and GL-Class outside the SUV parent plant in Tuscaloosa/ Alabama, USA," the company said.
Following the start of production of the M-Class in India, Thailand and Indonesia this year, the first units of the new GL-Class made from semi knocked down kits will be roll out from the assembly lines in India and Indonesia in 2013, the statement said.
At present, Mercedes-Benz assembles its luxury sedans C, E and S-Class at its facility near Pune in Maharashtra [ Images ].
Commenting on the plans, Daimler AG Member of the Board of Management Wolfgang Bernhard said: "Our new SUVs are very popular with our customers. We expect high growth rates also in the emerging markets and, therefore, extend our local production. Thus, we open up new potential as part of our growth strategy."