Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz plans to grow its research and development (R&D) centre in the country to a strength of at least 2,000 employees by 2015, seeing India as one of its key focus areas for R&D, along with the United States and China. The company currently has about 1,200 people at Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI), its largest R&D centre outside Germany.
MBRDI, whose new facility in Bangalore was inaugurated on Friday, filed 50 patents in 2012, and has been involved in some of Daimlers key projects such as the Human Body Modelling System, which simulates and tests different possible combinations of accident variables. While 90% of its workforce is located in Bangalore, the centre also operates a satellite office at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility in Pune.
MBRDI is one of our most important hubs within the global research and development organisation and the new facility will be a cornerstone for leveraging the Indian talent pool, said Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler, and head of Group Research, Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
My goal for the team here is we will grow to about 2,000 latest by 2015, and also afterwards there is an additional growth opportunity, he added.
The German carmaker sees Indias luxury car market growing to 7 million units, or about 4% of the overall car market by 2020, from about 1.2% at present. Mercedes-Benz sold 7,138 cars in the calendar year 2012.