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Mercedes Benz revs up India plan

Mercedes Benz revs up India plan

Pune: It’s 13 years since the Mercedes Benz started rolling out from a plant in Pune. But the lure of the three-pointed star remains as strong as ever. Other luxury players such as Audi and BMW may have also tasted success, but Benz still rules the Indian heart and mind.

5f16f7d2-4118-11dd-ba1f-000b5dabf613.flvNot surprisingly, it has announced its intention to sell more cars than ever in India this year. And the target looks justified, with the company having already sold more than 50% of its 2007 sales during the first five months of 2008.

The company has discarded its old name Daimler Chrysler India and changed its marketing strategy. The car maker has also evinced interest in the luxury bus segment and has partnered Sutlej Motors for creation of the bus body. The launch is scheduled for the second half of 2008.

To meet future requirements, Mercedes Benz is setting up a Rs350 crore manufacturing facility at Chakan in Pune on a 100-acre site. It plans to manufacture 5,000 passenger cars and 1,200 commercial vehicles annually.

In an interview at the Mercedes-Benz India headquarters in Pune, CEO Wilfried Aulbur talks about the Benz’s Indian journey till now.

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