Mercedes-Benz considering Chinese production for the GLK compact crossover

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

As part of its plans to improve local output in China, Daimler is considering Chinese production of its Mercedes-Benz GLK four-wheel-drive or another mid-range car in its joint venture plant in Beijing, chief financial officer Bodo Uebber said in an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung.

In particular, Uebber said that Daimler may produce further models below the E-Class, aside from the C-Class. He added that it's possible that the GLK, crossover between a regular compact car and a sport utility vehicle (SUV), will be included in this list.

Daimler has noted a surge in sales of its mid-range Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class cars. Daimler has a target of selling more than 100,000 Mercedes-Benz cars in China this year, up from the 67,000 in 2009.

In the first five months, sales have more than doubled from a year earlier to nearly 46,500 units. For the China market, Mercedes-Benz aims to sell at least 300,000 vehicles annually by 2015, half of which will be built in local factories.

Uebber asserted that by that time, the capacity of its Beijing factory will be doubled. Daimler currently has two auto ventures in China, producing its Mercedes-Benz car models at Beijing Benz (with Beijing Auto, or BAIC) and Viano and Vito MPV models at Fujian Daimler (with Fujian Motors and Taiwan's China Motors).

The new Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is all ready to barge into the world of compact SUVs. It is an all-rounder with practical features and an appealing compact body. However, what sets the new GLK-Class from the competition is the fact that it combines what were previously considered contrasting elements. For instance, its Agility Control suspension offers a distinct balance of superb handling dynamics, remarkable driving safety and excellent ride comfort.

Meanwhile, the variable 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system works with the latest electronic control systems to offer a supreme on-road performance as well as superb off-road capability, allowing the new GLK-Class to deliver a distinctive appeal. Although the new GLK-Class could be considered as one of the more road-focused SUVs from Mercedes, the letter “G” – used to designate the carmaker’s off-roaders – has a special meaning in its moniker.

On the other hand, the new GLK-Class owes its superior performance to its dynamic yet efficient four and six-cylinder engines. Mercedes’ new entry-level four-cylinder diesel engine – delivering 170 hp (125 kW) of output while consuming 6.9 liters of diesel per 100 km -- is fitted on the BlueEFFICIENCY version of the GLK 220 CDI.

Thanks to its highly robust body, the new GLK-Class could offer an innovative passive-safety setup, remarkable degree of interior comfort, extremely low noise levels, as well as high value retention. In attention, the new GLK is able to distinguish itself from other compact SUVs through its excellent appointments and appealing. In addition, the new GLK is the compact SUV to offer available state-of-the-art systems like the groundbreaking PRE-SAFE safety concept and the Intelligent Light System (ILS).

Oozing with poise and confidence when on the road, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is all set to express its intent to dominate the compact premium SUV segment with a high level of sophistication. For instance, it features displays found on the G-Class, which is considered as the original member of the Mercedes SUV family. According to design chief Peter Pfeiffer, the G-Class is a style icon considered as a benchmark in SUV design in the past three decades. Now, the new GLK sports a genuine character by combining a bold concept and the latest Mercedes design idiom.

The characteristic expressive looks of the new GLK is virtually unparalleled in the compact SUV segment. Its body -- measuring 4,528 mm in length, 1,840 mm in width and 1,689 mm in height – boasts of elegant proportions while the interplay between the classic angular shape and the modern design signatures of present-day Mercedes passenger cars lends the GLK a special charm.

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