At the Paris Motor Show last year, Mercedes-Benz announced plans to launch an all-electric sub-brand called EQ. Mercedes said its EQ-branded electric vehicles would ride on a dedicated EV platform and will eventually offer vehicles in every segment. But with Mercedes going all-in on EVs, it may have to change where it produces its gasoline-powered cars.
Speaking to Automotive News recently, Britta Seeger, Mercedes’ head of global sales, said that producing EQ-branded cars in Alabama might force it to build the C-Class sedan outside the U.S. That said, the decision isn’t necessarily final.
“We will see,” Seeger said. “The most important point for us was to make sure we have the EQ production in the U.S. If you have electric mobility, it makes sense to go very regional because you want to avoid huge transportation.”
Mercedes has already committed to investing $1 billion in its Vance, Alabama factory to equip it to build EQ-branded EVs. Currently, that plant builds the GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, and C-Class sedan. With the first production EQ expected to be a GLE-sized CUV, it may make more sense for that plant to focus exclusively on utility vehicles.
If C-Class production does eventually move out of the U.S., Mercedes would likely import it from one of the two other factories it uses to build the compact luxury sedan. By 2025, the German automaker believes the EQ sub-brand could account for 15 to 25 percent of its global sales.