Following the excise hike revised by Union Budget 2012-13, many auto majors have set price hikes on their vehicles or are delaying the launch of their cars. The German luxury carmaker is not far behind. Mercedes-Benz has deferred the launch of its M Class SUV from April to late May.
For the first phase, the SUV will be imported from Germany as CBU units that carry a 75 percent excise duty. However, the assembly will commence at the Chankan facility in Maharashtra from September 2012. The State govt has given time schedule for the companies to clear their taxes and this could be the reason of delay in local assembly.
Powering the ML350 CDI is a 3-litre V6 diesel motor that delivers 258 bhp output power and a thrust of 620 Nm. Mated to the diesel motor is a 7G-troninc transmission. However, the price of this SUV is not announced yet, and the German automaker was possibly waiting for the word from Union Budget 2012-13. It does not come as a surprise if looking at the demands; Mercedes-Benz employs a smaller 2.2-litre diesel, which is the most fuel efficient motor in its class. In India, the ML350 CDI will battle against premium class SUVs in the likes of BMW X3 and Audi Q5.