Mercedes sees SUV sales growing up to 5% – 80,000 GLKs on the way

Despite debate on CO2 emissions and high-gas prices, Mercedes-Benz sees a steady grown in the SUV segment.

“I see growth rates here of 4 to 5 percent a year,” Mercedes Chief Operating Officer Rainer Schmueckle told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport in an interview. Mercedes-Benz said that it sold 86,500 SUVs in the first half of this year leading it increase output to 200,000 for 2007.

Schmueckle also shed some light on the production plans for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLK, a baby SUV to compete with the likes of the BMW X3. He said production of the Mercedes-Benz GLK will take place at the company’s Bremen, Germany plant with an estimated output of 80,000 units annually.

The Mercedes-GLK is based on the platform of the 2008 C-Class (much like the X3 is based on the 3-Series) and is expected to be powered by a 2.0 liter base model and will eventually have a 2.2-liter turbodiesel that produces 204 horsepower the following year.

When the Mercedes-Benz GLK in 2008, pricing will start at approximately 35,000 Euros ($48,259).


Source: Reuters

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