The rising Chinese market for luxury SUVs have forced automakers to turn towards manufacturing in those respective countries to avoid raising prices from importing in the vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has just rolled their first Beijing-built GLK off the assembly line, joining their European counterparts Audi and BMW in manufacturing their SUVs in China.
Audi has been producing their Q5 in China almost since its launch, while BMW recently began X1 production there. Mercedes for now will only be producing the GLK300 in China, but plans to complement the 3.0L V6, 245-hp engine with a smaller engine before the end of next year.
Manufacturing Mercedes-Benz models in China is part of the German brand’s long-term plan with hopes of producing two-thirds of all Mercedes sold in China by 2015. Which models will join the GLK, C-Class and long wheelbase E-Class in China’s manufacturing is unknown currently but sales of Mercedes-Benz models have been on the rise in China with 168,940 vehicles sold in 2011 so far. Unfortunately, they’re still third behind BMW and Audi.
[Source: Left Lane News]