2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS luxury EV sedan will go on sale in the U.S. first
Mercedes-Benz EQC luxury electric SUV's U.S. market launch has been pushed back
Electric versions of a Maybach model and the G-Class are in development
Mercedes officially put its plans to launch the EQC electric SUV on the back burner this week, opting instead to introduce its EQ sub-brand in the U.S. with the EQS electric sedan. Ola Källenius, Chairman of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG revealed this week on a call with reporters that the automaker plans to bring the EQS stateside in the summer 2021, shifting the EQC electric SUV to debut at a later date.
The EQS will be shown in production form in spring next year, and goes on sale stateside by summer. But Källenius did not give a firm timeline for the EQC's U.S. launch.
Among other things, this means Mercedes' first mass-market EV model in the U.S. is going to be in the same segment as the Tesla Model S, which is eight years old at this point. So for all the focus on electric SUVs and crossovers, Stuttgart's first EQ model out of the gate in the U.S. will mirror Tesla's first mass-market entry.
The EQC was originally scheduled to be the first Mercedes EQ model to go on sale in the States, but had already been pushed back an entire year back in December 2019. The EQC had been on sale Europe since mid 2019, with plans to be offered stateside in early 2020.
"In a recent direction from Daimler AG, it is a strategic decision to first support the growing customer demand for the EQC in Europe," the automaker said nearly a year ago, in explaining its move to delay the EQC.
The EQC sport utility was expected to debut in early 2020 with a $68,895 starting price, prior to the $7,500 federal tax credit and other incentives.
The EQS sedan, on the other hand, kicks things off with a near $96,000 starting price. The sedan was previewed by the Vision EQS concept, offering about a 300-mile range and a dual-motor setup offering all-wheel drive. The Vision EQS concept was quoted to have 469 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque at its disposal, along with the ability to propel itself from 0 to 60 in less than 4.5 seconds. The concept's design only distantly resembled the gas-engined S-Class, featuring a cab-forward design and a sleeker overall greenhouse. The concept also promised advanced automated driving systems.
Källenius also indicated on the call that the automaker is planning a battery-electric Maybach model, set to debut in about three years, as well as battery-electric G-Class aimed first and foremost at "urban adventurers."
The decision to postpone the EQC launch had earlier been tied to the feeling in the industry that the luxury electric crossovers landing stateside have seen only seen mild interest in the market, well short of the levels of sales some automakers might have been expecting. This could have signaled to Mercedes that demand for high-priced electric SUVs might have cooled off significantly since the first models hit the market, with interest among buyers now shifting to electric crossovers priced well below $40,000 -- the kind that Volkswagen plans to field in the U.S. soon.