Mercedes-Benz India launched the upgraded ML series, renamed as the GLE in India on Wednesday. The prices for the car start at Rs 58.90 Lakhs for the GLE 250 and Rs 69.90 Lakhs for the GLE 350.
“GLE replaces Mercedes M-Class SUVs globally and all the future nomenclatures of Mercedes SUVs will start with G”, said Roland Folger, the new managing director and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz India. Both these models shall be locally manufactured by Mercedes at their Pune plant.
In terms of engine specs, the 250 will come with a one litre, four cylinder, turbocharged engine, which will put out 201 bhp along with 500 Nm of peak torque, while the 350 comes with a V6, which will put out 254bhp and a maximum torque of 620Nm. With the new GLE, Mercedes has also introduced the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission in India for the first time.
In India, Mercedes has had a very good 2015. The company has registered a 41 percent year on year growth, in the period January to September, selling 10,079 units this year. This has resulted in a 34 percent growth in the first nine months of this year.
“Mercedes-Benz has a formidable SUV portfolio, ranging from the GLA to the AMG G 63 in India. This gives us a strong competitive advantage, resulting in our SUV segment growing the fastest, at 70 percent, in the January to September 2015 period,” said Folger.
Talking about the impact of sales of diesel products after the Volkswagen diesel vehicle emission fiasco, he said, “There has been no impact on the sales of Diesel vehicles of Mercedes.” He also talked about how Mercedes uses a different strategy to keep its diesel car clean, but that technology has not been brought to India as the Euro four standards in India do not demand it.
As for the future, Mercedes plans to target newer areas, which haven’t been targeted earlier smaller cities like Jamshedpur and Raipur have seen dealerships open this year. The company introduced 12 products this year and GLE is their thirteenth product, with two more launches expected in 2015. Also, they have simultaneously opened 80 sales outlets in 39 cities in India.