Daimler to build SUVs in India, Indonesia, Thailand

German carmaker Daimler said Monday it would extend assembly of its sports utility vehicles to production sites in India, Indonesia and Thailand.

"Our new SUVs are very popular with our customers. We expect high growth rates also in the emerging markets and are therefore extending our local production. That will enable us to open up new potential as part of our growth strategy," said board member Wolfgang Bernhard.

It would be the first time that Daimler will build its new Mercedes-Benz M and GL models outside the main SUV plant in Tuscaloosa in the United States, the statement said.

Assembly of the M class models would begin in India, Indonesia and Thailand this year, with the GL class following next year in India and Indonesia.

Up until now, those production sites have been used to make the group's C, E and S models.

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