Nitin Gadkari urges Mercedes to make cars in India to make them affordable


By CNBCTV18.com IST (Released)

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Minister says even he can’t afford a Mercedes car

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said he could not afford to buy such luxury cars due to their high cost.

On September 30, Gadkari unveiled Mercedes-Benz India’s first locally assembled EQS 580 4MATIC EV in Pune. The car is priced at Rs 1.55 crore (ex-showroom) compared to its import price of Rs 2.45 crore (ex-showroom).

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“You increase production, only then is it possible to reduce costs. We are middle class people, even I can’t afford to buy your car,” PTI said, citing Gadkari, at Mercedes-Benz’s Chakan manufacturing plant in Pune on Friday.

This is the first time that the EQS 580 4MATIC has been produced outside of Germany. The luxury car is expected to be India’s longest-range electric vehicle, with a range of up to 677 km (WLTP) and 857 km (ARAI certified). The company said the car can be charged up to 300 km (WLTP) in 15 minutes at a fast charging station.

Gadkari said there is a huge market for electric vehicles in the country.

“I’m building a lot of expressways to create demand for you,” Business Today quoted the Mercedes-Benz management minister as saying.

At present, the size of the Indian automobile industry stands at Rs 7.8 lakh crore, of which the exports account for Rs 3.5 lakh crore. Gadkari said his dream was to turn it into a Rs 15-lakh crore industry. The minister pointed out that the country currently has a total of 15.7 lakh electric vehicles registered.

Gadkari also raised the idea of ​​the German auto giant forming joint ventures to establish vehicle scrapping units, which will help the company cut parts costs by up to 30%.


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