German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday expanded its sports utility vehicle (SUV) portfolio by launching in India the new SUV GLE to take on market leader Audi, BMW, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover and Swedish Volvo.
The new GLE, premiered globally in March 2015, replaced the popular M-Class, which sold more than 6,000 units in India and 1.6 million worldwide.
With a starting price of Rs 58.90 lakh at Delhi showroom, the two GLE SUV models will compete against the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 in the growing Indian luxury car market.
The two GLE variants — 250d with a 2,143 cc diesel engine priced at Rs 58.90 lakh, and 350d, which is powered by 2,987cc diesel engine, priced at Rs 69.90 lakh — are produced locally at its Chakan factory, near Pune.
“Our SUV portfolio has grown 70 per cent year-on-year in the January-September period this year and the GLE, produced in India will strengthen the range,” Roland Folger, managing director and CEO at Mercedes-Benz India, said.
The GLE combines the on-road driving with off-road performance and raises the benchmark for a luxury SUV to the next level.
The Pune-based company’s SUV portfolio comprises of GLA, GLA 45 AMG GL, G63 AMG and GL63 AMG in India.
“The addition of the versatile GLE comes at the right time and will add to our brand’s winning SUV portfolio. The start of local production of both the variants of the GLE simultaneously, is a key decision that will enable us address the rising demand for the SUV in the country,” Folger said.
He said with its sporty and serene appearance, clear and sensuous design idiom combined with typical attributes of a modern off-roader, the GLE was all set to create a new segment benchmark.
The company has launched 13 out of 15 new products since January as announced earlier, including the GLE, Mercedes-Maybach, the CLA, the new C 220 CDI and the new B-Class, among others, this year.
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