Mercedes will import its best-selling GLC from its factory in western India into the U.S., starting from next month.
So far, the German car maker was bringing the GLC into the States from its Bremen factory in Germany but that will change, according to a report from Automotive News.
Mercedes USA spokesman Rob Moran said that examples of the India-built GLC will begin arriving in the U.S. market next month. “The SUV GLC is in great demand worldwide,” Moran said. “Therefore, Mercedes-Benz uses the capacities of its global production network on four continents. This also includes the Mercedes-Benz plant in Pune.”
The Mercedes GLC is the best-selling luxury compact SUV in the United States and the brand’s top-selling model across the range. Mercedes has currently no plans of producing the GLC at its factory in Alabama, where models like the GLE, GLE Coupe and GLS are currently built.
With China being at the epicenter of attention due to the ongoing trade war, analysts believe that India has a chance of playing a bigger role in the industry. “It will help establish supply chain and production infrastructure that can meet North American and European quality standards,” Brian Johnson, managing director at Barclays Capital said.
However, importing vehicles from India to the U.S. remains an “experiment” more than a trend, Johnson said.
“India has been seen by the global automakers as a difficult place to establish a quality supply chain,” he said. “This could very well be an effort to learn about India as an export hub.”