Mercedes-Benz entered the Indian market in 1994 as Daimler. After Daimler mergered with Chrysler, the Indian company was renamed as DaimlerChrysler India Private Ltd. In 2007, when Daimler sold out its shares in Chrysler, the company was renamed as Daimler AG and the Indian company was called Mercedes-Benz India.
Mercedes-Benz India signed a joint-venture with Tata Motors and launched the E220 officially in India. Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors (then known as Telco) had struck a deal way back in 1954 to jointly manufacture medium commercial vehicles. All the Mercedes-Benz passenger cars were assembled at Tata Motors Pimpri plant. This plant was utilised by the German manufacturer to assemble and paint their cars. Tata Motors, however sold off its entire stake in the company to Mercedes-Benz India in 2000-01.
Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI):
Mercedes-Benz even has a research and development centre (MBRDI) in Bangalore in India.MBRDI had eight employees in 1996 and now the count has got up to 367. MBRDI today is the largest research centre for the company based outside Germany and contributes in the areas of Computer Simulation (CAE), Design (CAD), Electrical/Electronics and IT-Services.
Manufacturing plant in Chakan:
Mercedes-Benz India formally inaugurated its new manufacturing plant in Chakan, Pune in February 2009. The new facility was completed within 13 months from the start of construction -- among the fastest green-field projects to be created. With an area of 100 acres of land and independent assembly facilities for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, the infrastructure was created to address future expansion needs, underscoring the long-term growth plans of the company in India. While the plant was designed to manufacture the current local production portfolio of the Mercedes-Benz C-, E-, and S-Class, it is also flexible enough to accommodate additional production of other models from the Mercedes-Benz model range on the same assembly line, if required by future market demand.
In August 2003, DaimlerChrysler India with Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) and the University of Hohenheim as partners started ''The Jatropha Biodiesel Project''. The project is partly funded by DEG (Deutsche Investitions Entwicklungsgesellschaft). Since 2004, the Jatropha Biodiesel has generated community-wide support and interest towards alternate energy and Biodiesel. The project also included field-tests with Mercedes-Benz cars powered by pure (unblended) Biodiesel across nine states in India in 2004. This was followed by the cold weather high altitude tests of the Biodiesel cars across KhardungLa- the highest motorable road in the world and also across the frozen Himalayan terrains in 2005.