The Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV is one of the most popular luxury SUVs globally. Mercedes-Benz India, a subsidiary of the German auto giant Daimler AG, has been manufacturing the GLE SUV in India since 2015 at its production facility in Chakan, Pune. The India-made GLE is not just sold domestically but is also exported to several international markets including Europe.
In the financial year 2022-23 (FY23), Mercedes-Benz India exported the new generation GLE SUV for the first time to the European market. The latest GLE is produced at the Chakan plant on the new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform that allows it to meet the latest European crash norms and emissions regulations.
The Made-in-India GLE SUVs exported to Europe are the 300d 4MATIC diesel variant. Under the hood, it is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine producing 245hp and 500Nm paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.
Some key features of the India-made GLE SUVs exported to Europe include:
- Panoramic sunroof
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Ambient lighting with 64 color options
- Wireless phone charging
- Burmester surround sound system
- 6 airbags, attention assist, autonomous braking
- 19-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels
- LED headlamps and taillamps
The exports of the GLE 300d to Europe commenced in Q1 2023 after receiving certification from authorities. The initial batches have been shipped to Germany, which is the biggest luxury car market in Europe. Besides Germany, the Indian-origin GLE SUV will also be retailed in other key markets like UK, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, among others in a phased manner.
Mercedes-Benz India aims to export around 2,500-3,000 units of the GLE 300d SUV annually from India to Europe. The company already exports to 16 markets from India including South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia and Thailand. With Europe now added, India has become a key global hub for the GLE SUV production.
The exports have been facilitated by the free trade agreement between India and Europe eliminating import duties. Mercedes-Benz India claims that cost of manufacturing in India is 15-20 percent lower compared to other hubs globally. Skilled workforce and modern plants allow India to achieve high quality and cost optimization.
Santosh Iyer, MD & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented, “The commencement of new GLE exports to new destinations in Europe opens up exciting new opportunities for us and our manufacturing prowess. It also strengthens India’s positioning on the global automotive map, as we continue our product offensive for sustainable, green and high-end modern luxury mobility.”
The exports of the GLE demonstrate the capabilities of Mercedes-Benz India to produce world-class SUVs matching the German standards that can be retailed competitively across continents. The company is expected to add more locally produced models to its export portfolio in future, including the E-Class sedan and luxury electric SUV EQC.
The increase in exports would lead to expansion in production capacity and workforce in India. It reiterates India’s growing importance as a strategic hub for exports, manufacturing and R&D for automobile brands. The economies of scale would also allow Mercedes-Benz India to develop more localized and cost-efficient models to enhance its competitiveness and brand appeal in the domestic market.
GLE facelift 2023 release date in India
Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz India has not officially announced the launch timeline for the facelifted GLE SUV in India yet.
However, here are some details about the GLE facelift and when it could arrive in India:
- The facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV was globally unveiled in June 2022. It gets exterior styling updates including redesigned front and rear bumpers, new grille, refreshed LED headlamps and tail lamps.
- On the inside, the updated GLE features the latest generation MBUX infotainment system with 11.9-inch touchscreen and fingerprint sensor. It also gets a revised center console and new steering wheel.
- The facelifted GLE is powered by a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains carried over from the pre-facelift model. This includes a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol and diesel and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engine.
- The 2023 GLE facelift started sales in the US and European markets in late 2022. It is likely to arrive in India in the second half of 2023.
- Mercedes usually takes around 6-8 months to launch their latest models in India after international debut. Going by that timeline, expect the new GLE to launch around October-December 2023.
- Upon launch, the 2023 GLE facelift will continue to rival the BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery in India’s luxury SUV segment.
- Mercedes-Benz India could locally assemble the facelifted GLE at its Chakan plant like the outgoing model to make it more affordable. Expected prices to range between Rs 70-95 lakh (ex-showroom).
So in summary, the new generation Mercedes-Benz GLE 2023 facelift SUV is likely to be launched in India towards the end of 2023, around October-December. Mercedes-Benz India should confirm timelines closer to launch.
Mercedes GLE 2023
Here are some key details about the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLE facelift SUV:
- Exterior Changes: The 2023 GLE facelift gets redesigned bumpers front and rear, new grille pattern, refreshed LED headlamps and tail lamps, and new alloy wheel designs.
- Interior Updates: It features the latest MBUX system with a 12.3-inch OLED touchscreen, fingerprint sensor, wireless charging, 64-color ambient lighting, and ADAS tech.
- Powertrains: Engine options include a 3.0L turbo petrol (EQ Boost hybrid), 3.0L diesel, and a 2.0L petrol and diesel engine. The plug-in hybrid variants combine a 2.0L petrol with an electric motor.
- Features: Key features include panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, Burmester sound system, air suspension, 6/7 seats, adjustable air vents for 2nd row, trailer manoeuvring assist.
- Safety: It gets 7 airbags, blind spot monitoring, active brake assist, parking assist, 360° camera, adaptive cruise control.
- Expected Launch: Mercedes is likely to launch the facelifted GLE in India around October-December 2023.
- Expected Price: Estimated starting price is Rs. 70 lakh ex-showroom. Top-end AMG variant could go up to Rs 1.15 crore.
- Rivals: It will continue to compete with BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne etc.
In summary, the 2023 Mercedes GLE facelift will offer design changes, updated tech, powerful engine options along with premium features and safety tech when launched in India.
Here are some key points about Mercedes-Benz India:
- Mercedes-Benz India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German automaker Daimler AG.
- It was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra.
- Mercedes-Benz India has production facilities located in Chakan, Pune and Oragadam, Chennai.
- Some of the models produced in India include the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class sedans, GLA, GLC, GLE, GLS SUVs along with AMG performance cars.
- Mercedes-Benz India has an extensive distribution network across 53 cities with over 100 dealerships.
- In 2022, Mercedes-Benz India sold 15,822 passenger vehicles registering a growth of 41% over 2021 sales.
- The current President & MD of Mercedes-Benz India is Santosh Iyer who took charge in December 2021.
- Mercedes-Benz India exports to markets like South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
- In FY23, Mercedes-Benz India commenced exports of the Made-in-India GLE SUV to Europe as well.
- Mercedes-Benz India has invested over INR 2500 crores in local manufacturing and R&D operations so far.
So in summary, Mercedes-Benz India is a key subsidiary driving sales, production, exports and innovation for the brand in the Indian market. It aims to further bolster Mercedes’ leadership position in the luxury automotive space in India.
Best Multi utility vehicles in India
Here are some of the best multi utility vehicles (MUVs) currently available in the Indian market:
- Toyota Innova Crysta – The segment bestseller, renowned for reliability, space, comfort and low maintenance. Available with 2.4-litre diesel and 2.7-litre petrol engine options.
- Mahindra Marazzo – Features a 1.5-litre diesel engine and up to 8 seater configuration. Offers good ride quality, spacious cabin and many premium features.
- Maruti Suzuki Ertiga – A value-for-money 7-seater MUV with factory-fitted CNG option. Provides good fuel efficiency, easy drivability and after-sales service.
- Kia Carens – The latest entrant, it comes with bold styling, many first-in-segment features like air purifier, and powerful engines including 1.5 diesel and 1.4 turbo petrol.
- Renault Triber – An affordable and flexible sub-4 meter MUV with modular seating for up to 7 adults. Backed by Renault’s service network.
- Mahindra XUV700 – Feature-packed premium 7-seater option with advanced safety tech. Available with 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines.
- Tata Hexa – Offers a muscular and dynamic design, 4×4 capabilities, and features like premium audio system. Available as 6/7 seater.
- Datsun Go+ – One of the most affordable MUVs with sliding rear seats and space for 7. Claims best-in-class fuel efficiency.
So in summary, Toyota Innova Crysta, Mahindra Marazzo, Maruti Ertiga, Kia Carens and Renault Triber are among the best MUV options for Indian buyers currently.
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