Tesla appears poised to extend its reach into the heart of Das Auto, but it seems like Mercedes-Benz, a member of the old guard, may not be up to the task of meeting the young electric car maker’s challenge head-on. Daimler, for one, seems to be struggling in its home court, selling only 55 units of the its first all-electric SUV, the once-deemed “Tesla Killer” Mercedes-Benz EQC, since it was released in Germany.
German publication Welt noted that the veteran car manufacturer is hesitant to reveal information about the EQC’s sales, but data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) revealed that there were only 19 units of the SUV that were sold in November 2019. Since the vehicle was released in the country, registrations for the vehicle have only numbered 55. It’s a painful pill to swallow, but it seems that Mercedes-Benz’s tagline for the EQC campaign, “Enjoy Electric,” is far from convincing local consumers.
Welt aptly puts it: “The car is not only widely advertised, but has also been delivered for a few months. And at the last major e-car premiere that Germany experienced this year, numerous Tesla Model 3s drove through the area after just a few weeks. So where are the electric models from Stuttgart?”
According to the same report, there are clear indications that Daimler spent a lot to ensure its market feels the presence of the Mercedes EQC. The electric SUV appears on TV spots, movie screens, and billboards. It seems like the only place where the electric Mercedes-Benz is nowhere to be found is on the country’s roads, or people’s garages.
What’s happening to Daimler is only part of the bigger picture of what’s happening in the German automotive industry. As Tesla makes the most out of its momentum hoping to hurdle the last steps to finally begin construction of the Gigafactory 4 in Germany, local manufacturers seem to slide and struggle.
Gigafactory 4 will open opportunities for Tesla in Germany by first producing the Model Y crossover, which happens to be a cheaper alternative to the Mercedes-Benz EQC. Meanwhile, Daimler announced back in November that it will reduce its workforce and cut around 9,500 jobs across the globe as it switches its focus on electric cars.
The low sales number of the EQC might only be the tip of the iceberg. While Tesla has been setting trends and transforming the auto industry, Germany’s giants might have been caught resting on their laurels and were caught by surprise how a young company from California can slay them in the electric vehicle race.
Cars and Germany cannot be separated as more than 800,000 people depend on the industry to put food on their tables. It’s a complicated story why automotive giants such as Daimler cannot keep up with the future and just see Tesla cruise pass them.
One might just wonder if Mercedes cannot sell its electric SUV in its own backyard, how will its electric vehicles do in other markets that it depends on for revenue, such as China and the United States? The company has announced that it is delaying the release of the EQC in the US for another year, which does not bode well for the vehicle. As for Tesla, the game to conquer Europe begins soon with Tesla Gigafactory 4, and it has already opened the floodgates in China with the first deliveries of its mass-produced Model 3 electric sedans.
H/T to @Alex_avoigt