Mercedes Dealer Board Chairman Joseph Agresta said the product pipeline includes a healthy internal combustion engine and battery-powered model mix.
“There’s a lot of EVs, and EV is certainly our future,” Agresta said.
“But there’s still a commitment to the ICE vehicles,” he said. “The ICE vehicles are going to support profitability and volume for some period of time.”
Dealers saw eight vehicles at last week’s event, including the redesigned E-Class sedan, AMG SL 43 roadster and Maybach EQS SUV.
Mercedes is aiming for EV kingpin Tesla Inc.’s sweet spot with an electric CLA sedan and an electric GLC crossover, indicating Mercedes could ditch the EQ branding for its electric vehicle lineup.
The compact CLA should get 400 miles of driving range and arrive in U.S. stores next year.
Sources described the sedan as larger than the combustion engine CLA but with a sleeker profile. The interior carries over the digital-first cockpit design of Mercedes’ current electric models.
The battery-powered CLA will be Mercedes’ conquest vehicle for the EV age, aiming to poach Tesla’s young, tech-focused consumers. “There’s a recognition that CLA brings 60 percent new buyers to the brand,” a dealer said.
The electric GLC is a successor to the EQC electric crossover, which was to be Mercedes’ first mass-volume EV in the U.S. But that launch was scuttled due to the crossover’s limited range, which was deemed inadequate for the market.
The GLC EV will arrive next year with about 300 miles of range and an all-new design.
A dealer described the new crossover as having a rounded front and rear rather than the boxy styling of the combustion engine variant. The EV had a pair of power domes on the hood and a light signature running across the front.
Mercedes’ light commercial vehicle unit also got spotlighted at the dealer presentation.
The automaker has an ambitious electrification plan for its passenger and cargo vans. Later this year, Mercedes will bring a battery-powered Sprinter to the U.S. A luxury midsize passenger van and a range of electric RVs will follow.
At the meeting, Mercedes revealed a large cargo van concept named Sustaineer, with range-extending solar panels on the roof. It should arrive in 2025 with a 275-mile range. A dealer described the vehicle as an “upfitted Sprinter” van.