In a recent interview with Autocar, Mercedes-Benz’s Sales and Marketing boss said that the company he represents is shifting focus towards a zero-emissions future as well, as a possible eco-conscious sub-brand could be born soon, similar to BMW i.
“What we’re going to do in terms of the road to zero emissions is invest heavily in alternative drivelines and electrification,” Ola Källenius said. “That’s a very wide strategy, but it means that by the end of next year we will have 10 plug-in hybrid models, which, I think, is the widest portfolio of any luxury manufacturer,” he added.
Initially, BMW invested over 2 Billion Euros into the technology and development of the i cars, with a clear focus on the years to come. The building of the Moses Lake plant which is responsible for all the CFRP production for the BMW Group is just one example of strategic thinking. The carbon fiber plant provides the lightweight material for a series of other models, excluding the i3 and i8.
Now Mercedes seems to follow a similar path.
“We could choose for the purpose-made electric vehicles to create some sort of sub-brand but, right now, Mercedes is focused on investing tremendous resources into the path towards zero emissions. It’s something that will affect the whole portfolio,” said Källenius regarding the possibility of creating a sub-brand under the Mercedes-Benz banners that would rival BMW i.
Also during this interview, the Mercedes-Benz official confirmed the Stuttgart-based company will be looking to add more and more zero-emission models to the range, including a fuel-cell vehicle based on the GLC platform by the end of next year. BMW is also working on a fuel-cell vehicle in collaboration with Toyota.