DaimlerChrysler begins construction of new plant in Pune
Thursday, 10 May 2007, 07:00 Hrs
Pune, May 9 (IANS) The world's second largest luxury carmaker DaimlerChrysler Wednesday began construction of its new plant for the production of Mercedes-Benz cars near Pune in Maharashtra. The new facility, to be located at Chakan near the city, will initially employ around 350 workers, matching the level of the current facility, said Joachim Schmidt, chairman of DaimlerChrysler India. "Our confidence in the Indian market is reflected in our long association with the country. Our engagement with India dates back to 1954 when we started collaboration for trucks in India. Subsequently, we were also the pioneers of the luxury car market in India," said Schmidt. The new manufacturing facility will produce S, E and C-Class Mercedes-Benz cars for Indian market. The production of cars is expected to start around early 2009. The new plant will initially employ around 350 workers, matching the level of the current facility. In 2006, DaimlerChrysler sold 2,121 vehicles, achieving strong growth of 11 percent against 1,915 in 2005. In the first quarter of 2007, the carmaker already recorded further growth of 17 percent. On Jan 4, DaimlerChrysler India had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government over the construction of the new plant. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh laid the foundation stone of the new facility. Among those present included Minister of Industries Ashok Chavan, Minister for Water Resources and Water Supplies Ajit Pawar as well as Minister of State for Industries Rana Jagjitsinh Patil. Representing DaimlerChrysler India were Schmidt, and Wilfried Aulbur, managing director and CEO of DaimlerChrysler.