German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday said it has commenced the local production of its AMG portfolio in India, and rolled out its first-ever locally made GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe.
The company rolled out AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe, tagged at Rs 76.7 lakh (ex-showroom), from its Pune facility on Tuesday.
With this, the company now locally manufactures 11 models from its Pune plant, which has an installed capacity of 20,000 units annually, the largest for any luxury car maker in India.
The company has made around Rs 400-crore additional investment in the local production of its cars, Mercedes-Benz India managing director and chief executive officer Martin Schwenk said.
Mercedes-Benz India product portfolio comprises the locally produced Maybach S 560, S-Class, E-Class Long Wheelbase, C-Class and the GLA, GLC, long wheelbase GLE, G350d SUVs and GLC Coupé and AMG portfolio.
Completely-built imported cars portfolio includes the V-Class, V-Class Elite, CLS, C-Class Cabriolet and the S-600 Guard.
"In the last one-and-a-half years, we have spent around Rs 400 crore additional investment," Schwenk said.
He said investment has been made mostly on the sports utility vehicles (SUVs) that the company has launched this year like GLA and AMG.
The additional investment has helped Mercedes-Benz in substantially scaling up production at the Chakan plant, he said.
Schwenk said the company was happy the way festive season sales started.
Overall, the festive season bookings are better than what it had expected, he added.
"At this point of time, we are almost at 80- 90 per cent of our last year's volume level and that is quite a satisfying number, particularly when few months ago, nobody knew how the situation would develop," Schwenk said.
Mercedes-Benz is seeing a growth of 25 per cent every month, over the previous month.
“There was a sort of normalcy, as the pandemic situation has substantially improved over the past few months, and economic activities are coming back on track.
"We are completely not back to normal but overall situation is stabilising," he said.
Schwenk said local production gives substantial cost advantage over a completely-built unit because of the high import duty.
"The local production of AMG gives us a competitive edge in the dynamic Indian luxury car market," he said.
Earlier, in a statement, he said, "Rolling out the first-ever locally manufactured AMG from India's largest installed luxury car production facility is an important achievement for us.
“This reiterates our strong commitment for the Indian market and our continuous effort towards creating value for our customers."
The company is confident that the local production of the AMG will further increase the popularity of the performance brand in India and cater to the increasing demand of performance motoring enthusiasts, he added.