Mercedes delays electric debut after disappointing Audi, Jaguar SUV sales
Tesla sold 111,650 of its Model 3 sedans in 2019.
Mercedes-Benz is delaying the rollout of its latest electric vehicle in the U.S. after disappointing sales for electric SUVs by Audi and Jaguar.
The German luxury brand by auto corporation Daimler AG will introduce its EQC crossover model -- the first-ever electric SUV by Mercedes Benz -- to the U.S. in 2021 rather than 2020, as was initially expected.
Its strategic decision to delay its U.S. debut by a year will allow Mercedes to address its "growing demand" for the EQC crossover in Europe, where sales began this year, the carmaker said in an emailed statement to The Los Angeles Times.
Mercedes-Benz did not immediately respond to a FOX Business request for comment.
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The decision to delay the EQC's release is likely a precautionary measure by Mercedes after electric SUVs introduced this year by Audi and Jaguar saw lackluster sales.
Audi sold 4,623 of its E-Tron crossovers in 2019 through November while Jaguar only sold 2,418 of its I-Pace SUVs over the same time period. Tesla -- arguably America's most-popular electric car maker -- sold 111,650 of its Model 3 sedans, according to InsideEVs.
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Mercedes has invested more than $11 billion in an effort to expand its electric vehicle portfolio, Daimler AG Chairman and Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a September 2018 statement.
"Electric drive is a major component in the mobility of the future.," Zetsche said. The company, he said, is investing more than $11 billion in the expansion of its EQ model portfolio, and more than $1 billion in global battery production.
The carmaker is aiming to reach a progressive CO2-neutral energy supply to its German plants by 2022 to play its part in combatting climate change, according to Mercedes-Benz Production and Supply Chain executive board member Markus Schäfer.
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"Digital solutions help us to network production with things for us: emission-free vehicles and 'clean' production. With a CO2-neutral energy supply to our German plants by 2022, we are actively promoting the sustainability of our production," Schäfer said in September.