Mercedes has started producing the S-class in India, with the first car rolling out from the Pune production facility today. Thanks to overwhelming response to the CBU “Launch Edition” variant of the car, the company has decided to bring the locally manufactured variant to the market as well, thanks to a heightened demand for the car.
The MD and CEO of Mercedes’ India operations, and the Executive Director of Mercedes India had this to say:
Each new generation of the S-Class is always highly anticipated and sets a new standard for the automotive industry to pursue. The current ‘World Luxury Car’ the new S-Class underscores Mercedes-Benz’s ambition of introducing the most desirable products with the highest standards in innovation, technology, safety, and comfort like never before. We are, for instance, introducing for the first time, an innovative ‘car to x communication’ for the Indian market, which is tailor made for specific conditions and set a new benchmark in modern-day use of telematics in cars, enhancing comfort and safety.”
“We are in particular overwhelmed with the tremendous response to the New Generation S-Class and to cater to the increased demand, we are now commencing the local production ahead of our planning. We are confident the locally made S-Class will continue to retain its high loyalty from our discerning customers in India, having an unmatched aspirational value.”
-Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India
“The New S-Class is our flagship product and one of the most sophisticated modern luxury cars in Mercedes-Benz’s global portfolio. Rolling out this flagship limousine from the assembly lines in India is a matter of immense pride for our entire production team. The local production of the most advanced S-Class also calls for an equally advanced production process and adherence to stringent global quality standards. The Made in India S-Class firmly underlines the significant progress we have accomplished in advanced manufacturing and innovation in production, over the past 27 years. With the roll-out of the new S-Class, we continue to offer our discerning customers world-class products made in India.”
-Piyush Arora, Executive Director, Mercedes-Benz India
The new S-class will have all-new features like an OLED head unit, rear massage seats, leather interiors, a 710 watt 3-D Burmester sound system (replacing the 4D system in the CBU) bound together by the latest MBUX interface system with a 12.3″ screen, 5 screens all across the car- and even a method to play Netflix or other OTT apps via the available mini HDMI port! Although, there would be some features that’ll be missing from the SKD model owing to lesser optional packages and limited variants.
These include 19-inch alloy wheels instead of 20-inch ones in the CBU. Front massage seats and rear axle steering are some more features which will be removed from the equipment list. Mercedes will now offer seat kinetics which is aimed at minimising body roll during ‘race’ cornering. That makes me wonder though, who’d do that in an S-Class? It shall be allowed ONLY in their AMG variants. Talking of AMG, the AMG variants would not be locally produced and could still be offered as a CBU variant.
There will be 2 variants of the car, namely the S 350D RWD (replacing the S400d AWD) with 286HP and 600NM of torque alongside the S 450D 4MATIC (367HP/500NM) with AWD. Mercedes are planning to seamlessly produce the car, with innovations like more than 80 control units being used, using new generation robots for the gluing process, a new braking system, using AI and Machine Learning so as to enhance testing being used to name a few.
Local production of what Mercedes calls the “World’s Best Car” is something that we should be proud of, and for good reason. This new SKD S-class is now priced at Rs. 1.57 crores for S 350d and Rs. 1.62 crores for S 450 4MATIC. This makes it almost Rs. 60 lacs cheaper than the CBU one. Win-win? I think so.