Mercedes-Benz is reportedly planning to assemble the electric variant of its S-class EQS sedan in India by the end of 2022. According to the head of the company's local unit, this step is part of a broader strategy to electrify the company's portfolio in the nation.
With a strong product like EQS in hand, Mercedes is going to be the first luxury carmaker to assemble EVs in India, which are expected to become available for sale by the fourth quarter of this year.
According to credible sources, imported models of Mercedes’ EQC electric sport utility vehicle (SUV), are already available in the country.
Martin Schwenk, MD & CEO of Mercedes Benz India, strongly believes that the EQS will set the standard for electric vehicles in the country.
Over the last two years, the firm has been preparing an EV roadmap for India. So far, the plans are still in their early stages and future launches will depend on market demand and government rules, Schwenk added.
Meanwhile, global manufacturers plan to invest more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries by 2030, to fulfill more stringent decarbonization standards.
Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz, has stated that it aims to invest more than USD 47 billion in the development of battery electric vehicles globally by 2030.
On the other hand, electric car sales in India have struggled to take off, owing to a lack of local component and battery production, as well as the dearth of charging infrastructure and high prices.
Even if import charges were waived, Schwenk predicted that the domestically-built EQS sedan would not be less expensive than the imported EQC SUV, which costs roughly USD 136,000.
In 2021, Mercedes sold 11,242 automobiles in India, down from more than 15,500 in 2018. Schwenk believes sales will approach peak levels if pandemic-related difficulties and supply chain interruptions, such as semiconductor shortages, can be addressed this year.