Last-month, we reported that Mercedes-Benz reported is aiming to assemble their SUVs M and GL-Class in India by early 2013. Today the company launched their first assembled car in India M-Class, the ML250CDI. The ML250 CDI is priced at an attractive Rs 46.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which is Rs 10.4 lakh cheaper than the more powerful 350 CDI variant. Mercedes has aimed the ML250 CDI squarely with the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 which are actually a segment lower.
Powered by a 2143 cc diesel engine generating 151.5 kW @ 4200 rpm and 500 Nm torque @ 1600-1800 rpm, thank to the 7G TRONIC Plus automatic transmission. Mercedes Benz India states that the new ML250 CDI has a top speed of 210 kmph and an acceleration time of 9.0 seconds for 0-100 kmph. New Mercedes Benz ML 250 will return a mileage of 15.26 kmpl. It features 18″ ten spoke alloys while a kerb weight of 2160 kgs. Where dimensions are concerned, the new Mercedes SUV is 4808 mm long, 1906 mm wide and 1796 high. It has a wheelbase of 2915 mm.
Apart from India, the company will also start assembly operations in Thailand and Indonesia. Mercedes Benz has also started proceedings for finalization of production sites in these three regions. This will be the first time that Mercedes Benz is conducting assembly operations of SUV models outside their parent plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Once production operations of the M Class in India, Thailand and Indonesia commence first units of the new GL Class will also be produced from semi knocked down kits in India and Indonesia from 2013 onwards.
Currently, Mercedes Benz assembles C-class, E-class and S-class at their Chakan plant near Pune, India. Vehicles assembled from semi knocked down kits will attract less import duties and this will go a long way in maintaining competitive pricing of Mercedes Benz SUVs. Today the company also inaugurated a new paint shop at their Chakan facility.