Mercedes-Benz has on Wednesday confirmed plans to develop electric-powered sedan about the size of its S-Class flagship to challenge Tesla's Model S for buyers of high-end electric cars, Bloomberg reports.
The proposed full-size sedan, referred to as EQ S, will be part of the 10 all-electric cars Daimler AG unit will unveil by 2022, said Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes CEO, on Wednesday in Croatia while presenting the revamped Mercedes A-Class hatchback.
The EQ S will feature a totally different battery range compared to what err have today and the vehicle will be introduced alongside plug-in hybrid models. "While conventional vehicles will feature so-called mild hybrid with 48-volt battery technology in a shift away from pure combustion power, all vehicles will be electrified," said Zetsche.
As the best-selling luxury-car maker in the world, Mercedes had recorded-breaking profit and deliveries in 2017 defending its top spot in the global car market against the namesake brand of BMW AG and Audi marque from Volkswagen AG. Mercedes will be threatened to weigh its profits considering the high cost of developing battery-powered cars and new digital offerings, together with potential trade barriers in China and the US, which represent it's the largest market.
Zetsche believes it's too early to consider possible risks that may result from trade barriers, insisting that new developments in Russia associated with stricter proposed sanctions by the U.S. coincided with viable market proposals in China which signify potential encouraging legislation for outside investors. “We have to increase flexibility in local production as the world, in general, has become more volatile,” Zetsche said.
He embraced the possibility of China easing caps on joint ventures ownership for foreign manufacturers. “We would, of course, welcome additional opportunities,” said Zetsche. “We have a very good cooperation with BAIC in China and might come to the conclusion that there won’t be any change. But of course, it’s better to have more instead of fewer options. Mercedes will meet China’s planned electric-car quota," he added.
As long as Daimler safeguards it's currently existing joint-venture partner, the Chinese BAIC Motor Corp, the company is open to accepting many ways to cooperate with its new largest investor, Li Shufu. Zetsche reiterated that "possible cooperation projects don’t necessarily have to be restricted to China, but Daimler’s ties with Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and BMW might limit global opportunities. We’re not dogmatically closed."
As Mercedes expands its compact cars lineup, from five to eight, it sees the potential for a "significant lift in volumes." Zetsche said. "Adding smaller, affordable models like the GLA compact crossover and the CLA Coupe, helped Mercedes lure younger buyers from rivals and that trend is expected to continue with the revamped A-Class hatchback." Mercedes has already reserved rights to names for the new sedan such as EQ A, EQ S and EQ C, with the first model dubbed EQ S.