“Investment in electric cars non-negotiable”, says Daimler AG CEO
Mercedes-Benz kickstarted 2020 actively by launching the GLE, GLC Coupe and the V-Class Marco Polo in India. As many as 10 Mercedes-Benz cars were slated for launch this year, but with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it remains uncertain if the brand will go ahead as planned. However, if there’s one element where the luxury carmaker will not compromise is its commitment towards electrification.
Ola Källenius, Chairman and CEO of Daimler AG, released a statement on how the brand was coping up with the crisis, “The COVID-19 pandemic has substantial effects on our company. We took the proactive decision to stop production in March, and moved quickly into cash preservation and cost management. As a consequence, Daimler ended the first quarter with a positive result and a robust liquidity. Now we have started with a gradual ramp-up of our production. At the same time, we are continuing to invest in key technologies, including electrification and digitization. They are non-negotiable elements of our future.”
The German luxury marque has been comprehensively shifting towards electrification for its entire international model range. The EQC electric SUV is the first ever long range EV from Mercedes-Benz that has been well-received by critics. In addition, the brand plans to extend the EQ range in the future with the EQA, EQB and EQS electric cars based on the GLA, GLB and GLS. That said, Mercedes-Benz is systematically electrifying its global line-up with plug-in hybrids under the EQ Power label. Plug-in hybrid variants are already available in most of the brand’s international offerings.
The EQC was earlier slated for launch in April 2020, but with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the launch will likely be postponed to the second half of 2020. The brand’s first long range EV was displayed at the Auto Expo 2020 earlier this year and it will be offered in the 400 4MATIC variant in India. It is the first of the 10 electric cars to be introduced under the EQ brand by 2022.