Mercedes India exported GLE SUVs to Europe in FY23

    The left-hand-drive units were made in the carmaker's Chakan plant.

    Published On Nov 08, 2023 03:10:00 PM

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    Mercedes-Benz India had exported a batch of made-in-Chakan GLE SUVs to Europe in FY2023 (April 2022-March 2023). This news comes at an opportune time, as the Indian government is working overtime to kick off the Free Trade Agreement with Europe and the UK, and incentivise imports of EVs for fast-tracking Tesla’s entry.

    1. Made-in-India LHD GLE exported to Europe in FY23
    2. Second time made-in-India SUVs have been exported
    3. FTA with Europe and UK could open further opportunities

    The development comes at a time when Mercedes-Benz India is reaching high-capacity utilisation – over 85-90 percent – at its facility in Chakan, Pune. In order to cater to the rising demand, the company has even worked three shifts over the last few quarters and adapted existing production lines. However, the exact quantum of the batch was not mentioned. The export of made-in-India Mercedes-Benz SUVs may be an indication of things to come in the post-FTA world.

    As per Mercedes' financials of FY2023, filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Mercedes-Benz India stated that it had received an export order of BR167 LHD vehicles for the European market. When contacted, a Mercedes-Benz India spokesperson confirmed the development and said, “Our manufacturing facility in Chakan is flexible and efficient, enabling capacity to be utilised in accordance with global demand.”

    This marks the second time over the past five years that Mercedes-Benz has exported vehicles from India. In 2018, the company had shipped the GLC SUV to North America – at the time, India was a back-up base for the German luxury carmaker, and was unable to meet the demand for the SUV in that market for a brief while.

    FTAs could drive up exports

    If the doors are opened up to Europe or the UK through a Free-Trade Agreement (FTA), India may very well cater to some of these markets given its attractive cost and proven quality standards, say experts. While it still remains conjecture, the couple of instances of India-made cars being shipped to the US and Europe would be a good proof case in the event of a big order coming up in the future, in the post EU-UK FTA era.

    There was a phase when the head of manufacturing of Mercedes-Benz India’s plant in Chakan would oversee some select markets in South East Asia from a supply chain and logistics point of view.

    Also see:

    Santosh Iyer talks about GLE and on rising Mercedes car, SUV prices

    Mercedes-AMG GT 63 to be replaced by an EV in 2025

    2024 Mercedes-AMG C 43 launched at Rs 98 lakh

     Mercedes Benz GLE facelift launched at Rs 96.4 lakh

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