Mercedes-Benz to Sell Locally-Made Electric EQS in India in 2022
(Bloomberg) -- Mercedes-Benz will roll out a locally assembled EQS -- the electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan -- in India by the fourth quarter of this year, as it seeks to ride a green push in one of the world’s biggest emerging car markets.
“It’s the right moment and right product to start with localization” for electric cars in the luxury segment, Martin Schwenk, managing director of Mercedes-Benz India Pvt. told reporters in a media briefing Wednesday. “We are listening to what the market and regulatory environment is telling us. I believe we have a great product with EQS and it will find a lot of customers in India.”
Though India has vowed to turn net carbon zero by 2070 and the government is looking to bolster the sale of electric vehicles, its green transition is at a nascent stage. Electric models make up only 1% of annual vehicle sales and wider adoption for electric vehicles, or EVs, has been hobbled by a sparse charging network and high price tags. High reliance on imports of electric vehicle-parts from China has made supply chains unreliable, making it difficult to scale up production.
Mercedes is expecting a “better” tax structure in India and will consider it before pricing the EQS sedan, Schwenk said, as this will help the carmaker sell a “good” number of these cars in the world’s fourth-largest car market.
Daimler AG, which makes Mercedes-Benz range of cars, has a goal of only selling fully electric cars by 2030 where possible. After criticism for being late to adopt purely battery-powered cars, the German manufacturer stepped up its game with the launch of the EQS that drew praise from analysts and car reviewers.
It started taking orders for the EQS globally in August and is now working on the E-Class’s battery-powered version, as part of a massive push into EVs that includes plowing more than 40 billion euros ($45.5 billion) into electrifying its product range this decade.
“What really holds us back is the high-end price structure in the country,” said Schwenk. “It is about taxation, road taxes and other elements of it. That is probably the single biggest hurdle for a broad adoption.”
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