High demand for the compact luxury SUV to be met by Pune assembly plant
The demand for the Mercedes-Benz GLC compact luxury SUV appears to be growing worldwide. In order to meet that demand in the US, Mercedes-Benz will be utilizing the capacities of its global production network.
Mercedes-Benz’s Bremen plant in Germany is the main manufacturing hub for the US-spec GLC but going forward, it will also import the GLC from the company’s assembly plant in Chakan, Pune. While moving the car halfway across the world will obviously increase shipping costs, the lower costs of production in India should offset it to some extent.
The 2019 model of the Mercedes-Benz GLC with the updates for its mid-life refresh could be the car that is shipped from Pune. In that case, we can expect Mercedes-Benz to launch the updated GLC in India next year. Mercedes-Benz is expected to start exports for the mid-size SUV from October 2018; however, the luxury carmaker’s Indian subsidiary has not given any official word on that yet.
As per the US product website, the Mercedes-Benz GLC is currently offered with the 2-litre inline four-pot turbo engine that produces 244PS and 370Nm in the GLC 300 variant, with a choice of RWD or AWD (4MATIC). We expect only ICE-powered GLCs to be built at the Pune plant for export, while the GLC 350e 4MATIC variant, which features a plug-in electric hybrid motor, and the AMG models are likely to made at Bremen only.
Mercedes’ decision to use their India plant for exports follows a similar move from Ford when they decided to meet the American demand for their EcoSport sub-compact SUV by exporting it from their production plant in India.
It won’t come as a surprise if, going forward, India becomes the automotive export hub for the world, especially given the current trade relations between US, Europe and China and the looming threat of increasing tariffs.
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