Having recently concluded a virtual conference with key investors and analysts, Mercedes-Benz has revealed its key strategies for its car business in the forthcoming years leading up to 2025.
In addition to slated cost reduction plans to down capital expenditure and R&D costs, the company also plans to lower its break-even point in hopes of improving cash collections and conversion rates.
Alongside, intensive product and technology introductions centred around electrification which in their own words “ will enhance the Mercedes-Benz brand’s luxury status, raise the product portfolio’s positioning and mix, pursue significant growth for sub-brands AMG, Maybach, G, and EQ and accelerate the development of electric drive and car software.”
Mercedes’ EV sub-brand ‘EQ’ is key to this model expansion, and new models will be positioned around two platforms – the new (large vehicle) Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) platform and the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA) platform which is in development for compact and medium-sized cars.
The EVA and MMA platforms will make possible the introduction of at least six new models, confirmed to hit the market starting in 2021, with the EQS saloon. This in line with its aspirations of having electrically powered cars including all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to account for more than half of its sales already by 2030.
In addition, given Mercedes-Benz, breakneck speeds of development and “accelerated introduction of new technology” as part of its “» Electric First «” strategy, the following six-models could well be introduced to markets around the world within the next two years:
Inspired by the Vision EQS first unveiled in 2019, the EQS will be the first flagship all-electric member of the new S-Class range and arrive in 2021. The EQS is the second model to use the EVA platform (after the EQC SUV) and will boast a 700km driving range (on the WLTP cycle).
The EQS and is currently in the final stages of testing. We also know that the EQS will include and expand on some technologies that are familiar to us already, such as the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) suite for control and display systems or the driving assistance systems. The EQS will also be produced alongside the latest-generation S-Class in "Factory 56" in Sindelfingen.
The EVA platform allows for the vehicle's wheelbase and track as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, to be variable thanks to its modular design, insofar that the platform architecture makes it possible to build both saloons to large SUVs, and everything in between.
This will allow for the introduction of the smaller EQE sedan, parallel to that of the iconic E-Class, Mercedes have confirmed that the EQE will be the next model to follow the EQS in 2021.
The introduction of the EQS and EQE sedans will be swiftly followed by their SUV counterparts – the EQS SUV is already in various stages of testing, alongside the EQE and EQS sedan. Therefore, a late-2021 and early 2022 introduction respectively seems entirely possible.
In the compact class, production of the EQA, the all-electric sibling of the GLA, will start later this year, followed by the EQB in 2021.
Details are light for now regarding the MMA platform, but it’s highly likely it will possess the same amount of drivetrain flexibility as the EVA platform. The EQA is currently at an advanced stage of testing.
Mercedes-Benz has previously stated that they plan to introduce ten different all-electric vehicles by 2022 – stating that customers “will have the choice of at least one electric alternative in every Mercedes‑Benz model series, taking the total (models) to 50 overall.”
The six-aforementioned models, including the inaugural EQS from 2018, and the all-electric EQV (parallel of the V-Class) from last year - takes the total count to eight vehicles. Leaving two more.
Image credit: Mercedes-Benz Worldwide
Our most educated guess for the remaining two models, if it were to fit within the aforementioned 2022 plans – would be the introduction of a sedan version of the EQC SUV, and perhaps most interestingly – the production version of the Vision EQXX.
The Vision EQXX is a new prototype electric currently in development, which will reportedly offer a total driving range of 1,200 km making it the most efficient electric car in the world. The EQXX is said to be a showcase of the EQ brand’s technological know-how and nothing else for now.
However, it seems entirely possible that the tech trickle-down from the EQXX could find its way onto an entirely different genre of vehicle - perhaps a sportscar?