Daim­ler plans $78m Mercedes-Benz In­dia plant ex­pan­sion to add sales

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

MUM­BAI: Daim­ler AG plans to in­vest as much as 3.5 bil­lion ru­pees ($78 mil­lion) to ex­pand its In­dia fac­tory that builds Mercedes-Benz cars as de­mand for lux­ury ve­hi­cles gains in the nation.

The au­tomaker is adding a sec­ond pro­duc­tion shift start­ing to­day at its Pune, western In­dia fa­cil­ity to dou­ble the plant's ca­pac­ity to 10,000 ve­hi­cles a year, said Suhas Kad­laskar, the lo­cal unit's di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate af­fairs. Daim­ler will spend 2 bil­lion ru­pees on a paint shop that will be ready in 2012, he told re­porters at the fac­tory.

Daim­ler, Bay­erische Mo­toren Werke AG and Volk­swa­gen AG's Audi di­vi­sion are seek­ing to tap ris­ing de­mand for pre­mium brands in In­dia, where eco­nomic growth and stock mar­ket gains spur spend­ing on lux­ury. The nation's mar­ket for lux­ury goods and ser­vices is pro­jected to triple to $14.7 bil­lion by 2015, ac­cord­ing to an Oc­to­ber re­port by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try and A.T. Kear­ney Inc.

The world's sec­ond-largest lux­ury-ve­hi­cle maker ex­pects Mercedes-Benz sales in In­dia to ri­val the U.K. within a decade as ris­ing wealth stokes de­mand, Wil­fried Aul­bur, head of the lo­cal unit, said in Septem­ber.

Daim­ler's pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sales in In­dia in­creased 79 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 3,827 units be­tween April and Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by the So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers. BMW's sales rose 72 per­cent to 4,031 ve­hi­cles in the pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to the in­dus­try group. $6.4 Tril­lion The com­bined net worth of In­dia's 100 wealth­i­est peo­ple climbed to a record $300 bil­lion this year, equiv­a­lent to about a quar­ter of In­dia's gross do­mes­tic prod­uct, ac­cord­ing to Forbes. In­dia's wealthy may al­most dou­ble their as­sets to $6.4 tril­lion over the next five years as eco­nomic growth swells their ranks, Credit Suisse Group AG said in a re­port in Oc­to­ber.

Tata Mo­tors Ltd., the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, will set up 10 deal­er­ships for the lux­ury car brands in In­dia this fis­cal year and be­gin as­sem­bling the sport-util­ity ve­hi­cle mod­els in the coun­try from the mid­dle of next year.

In­dia's fi­nance min­istry yes­ter­day raised its eco­nomic growth fore­cast for the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year. The econ­omy may ex­pand as much as 9.1 per­cent in the year end­ing March 31, the min­istry said in a re­port to par­lia­ment. It had pro­jected a growth rate of 8.25 per­cent to 8.75 per­cent in Fe­bru­ary. -Bloomberg

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