Once-hailed ‘Tesla Killer’ Mercedes-Benz EQC sells less than 700 since launch: report

(Credit: Daimler AG)

The Mercedes-Benz EQC, a vehicle once considered as a potential “Tesla Killer” and a legitimate threat to the Model X, has reportedly sold less than 700 units in its home country since it was launched. This was according to data from Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority, which stated that only 397 units of the EQC were sold in 2019 and 276 have been sold during the first four months of the year. 

It should be noted that Mercedes-Benz has not disclosed any official sales numbers for its first modern all-electric vehicle. Nevertheless, the figures from the country’s Federal Motor Transport Authority were quite alarming. The EQC, after all, is not lacking in any advertisement from the veteran automaker. Parent company Daimler has not been one to shy away from its alleged focus on electric powered transportation, as evidenced by its “Electric First” slogan. 

Yet despite this, the sales of the EQC have been incredibly underwhelming. As noted by German media outlet Handelsblatt, Daimler executives have described the EQC as a “pipe cracker” and its sales figures a “total disaster.” The news agency added that only one in about 400 customers in Europe have been opting for the all-electric SUV. And it’s worse in other countries. The EQC has not even been launched in the United States yet, with Mercedes-Benz pushing back the release of the vehicle to 2021, despite initial plans for a 2020 rollout. 

Auto publication Mercedes-Fans.de was able to speak with some Mercedes-Benz dealers, and the sentiment about the EQC were equally negative. Dealers reportedly spoke about the vehicle’s sales as something that can be considered a “catastrophe,” while noting that there is simply “zero demand” for the all-electric SUV. This raises some questions, considering that the EQC was hyped by the automaker as its response to the rapidly-growing premium EV market that is currently dominated by American automaker Tesla. 

What is interesting is that electric vehicles are actually picking up in Germany and Europe. The Audi e-tron, for example, was able to sell 4,500 units between May 2019 and April 2020. The Tesla Model 3 sold even more, with 8,700 being handed over to local customers over the same period. This all but shows that EVs from both veteran automakers and new companies can find some footing in Germany. The vehicles just have to be impressive and compelling for consumers. 

The Mercedes-Benz EQC caught some headlines when it was launched. Then Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche noted that the company is “going all in” on EVs, since there is simply “no alternative to betting on electric cars.” The vehicle also looked quite promising, with plush interiors and impeccable build quality. Yet, even then, there were reservations about the EQC’s range and performance, which were rather conservative compared to rivals such as the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE, and the Tesla Model X. 

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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