Monday, September 10, 2007

Daimler Chrysler to build new India plant by 2009

Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:58AM EDT

Kolkata, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Daimler Chrysler AG (DCXGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) is setting up a new plant in India's western city of Pune at a cost of 50 million euros, a senior company official said on Saturday.

"We have acquired 100 acres of land for the new plant which will be commissioned by 2009," said Wilfried Aulbur, managing director and CEO of DaimlerChrysler India Pvt. Ltd. on the sidelines of a car launch.

The plant will have a production capacity of 5,000 passenger cars annually, above current capacity of 4,000 units at a rented plant in Pune, Aulbur said. Operations at the rented plant will shift to the new plant.

"We expect the luxury car segment to grow in the near future with incomes growing and the new plant will help us in this growth," Aulbur said.

DaimlerChrysler sold 1,681 units in India from January to August, growth of over 22 percent from a year ago.

The company, that sells mostly Mercedes-Benz cars, has a 0.3 percent share of India's passenger car market.

Aulbur said the company will also assemble heavy trucks in the existing plant by year end and luxury buses will be manufactured from next year.

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