DaimlerChrysler to set up plant near Pune

Mumbai: DaimlerChrysler is in the advanced stages of arranging land for a manufacturing unit near Pune. The company, which manufactures Mercedes Benz cars, expects its new manufacturing unit to be operational early next year. The plant will have an annual production capacity of more than 9,000 units.

"We are at an advanced stage of finalising the land for our new plant and are confident of making it operational before the first half of 2007. We want to have our own plant to enhance our long-term plans in India," Suhas Kadlaskar, director corporate affairs and finance, DaimlerChrysler said at the launch of the new generation Mercedes E-class models Classic and Elegance in the Indian market. The models have a price tag of Rs41-Rs lakh, up Rs1.25 lakh against its current models.

"The current plant at Chikhali is a rented factory and we wanted to have one of our own. We are looking at the industrial belts of Pune, Chakan, Ranjangaon and Talegaon for the same. The company has completed 10 years of its operation in India and it's time we moved on. Also, DC had outsourced components worth $100 million last year," he said.

The plant at Chikhali works in one shift and has a capacity to produce 4,000 vehicles, which can be scaled up to 9,000 if it operates in two shifts.

The company will have to invest more than Rs500 crore to get incentives given to mega projects as per the Maharashtra government policy.