It is a record number. Mercedes intends to put 60 billion euros on the table for a transition to electrification by 2026. Admittedly, the amount is less than the 70 billion offered by Volkswagen on the same scale. But VW invests in its five main brands (Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche), while the Stuttgart star, stripped of its smart branch, is one brand.
This “kolossal” investment was set at the end of last year with a clear goal: to bring forward the deadline for the ban on thermal vehicles set for 2035. From 2025, all new car bodies will be exclusively electric. Risky bet? Not if Europe keeps its steer, and we understand better that the star’s leaders agreed to vote in Strasbourg on June 9, setting a deadline for the transition.
Awaiting 2025, the EQ catalog, the electric “family” of Mercedes is growing month by month. It already has 5 models and will increase by a sixth: the EQE SUV that we will discover on October 16th. But, from the “small” EQA of €44,000, to the EQS charged at €135,000 (excluding options), aren’t the prices too high? Isn’t EV mode likely to put off conservative customers like Mercedes?
Focus on electricity and luxury
In terms of price, it is clear that the electric models from Stuttgart are more expensive than the thermal models. And so today’s best-selling Mercedes in the world, the GLC SUV, is offered in the 300 plug-in hybrid variant, priced at €61,300. The EQC, a wattage variant, starts at €79,000, but its additional equipment significantly narrows the gap. And Mercedes customers seem ready to take the lead. The guide is from EQS, the most expensive home electric garden. It has already been ordered in more than 30,000 copies since the beginning of the year. Obviously, the classic and thermal S-Class still displays a nearly double result, but the good electrification numbers, and the 145% increase in one year, confirm Mercedes in its luxury and electrification choices.
Because it is a double revolution in which Mercedes is participating. On the one hand, Stuttgart is giving up the heat, and on the other hand, the brand is betting on a move to the upscale market. Already a premium, so it should become a real luxury brand. So some models like the A and B Series can pay the price, at least in their basic finishes. Moreover, higher and stronger: this is the ambition of Mercedes, with the support of its subsidiary AMG and its own Maybach brand, both of which will be used extensively from 2024.
The true Trojan of the new era of Mercedes, the EQXX concept car, with its radical design and autonomy of more than 1,000 kilometers could inspire the first production model of this new era in two years. Moreover, who says luxury, say super cars and very limited series. A presentation is also planned, as well as the Maybach and AMG “kits”. These very special and expensive series will be grouped under a label with a certain name, which may spark some jokes, as they are dubbed ‘Mythos’.
It would be understandable, Mercedes has adopted this motto “To keep making money, let’s sell less and more expensive.” A slogan that the auto industry seems to subscribe to widely at the moment. Except that, in order to succeed in switching completely to electric and luxury, you need money and a lot of money. Especially since the star intends to differentiate itself from other luxury brands with a technology orgy, which requires far more investment than the simple development of powerful Aston Martin models.
Two entities to finance the revolution
That is why the company simply changed its name. Daimler, the original parent company, became simply the Mercedes-Benz Group. A method of separating the activities of motor vehicles and heavy goods which is not just a front, as it allows two separate entities to enter the stock market each on their side and raise funds. When you are a car maker, you not only have to know how to make cars, you have to know how to find billions to finance them.