Mercedes will become the very first global luxury automaker to build vehicles in India where the EQS will enter production in the fourth quarter of 2022. The company’s local brand boss Martin Schwenk made the disclosure in an interview with Automotive News Europe. He went on to say this move represents the first step to expand EV offerings in Asia. Sales of the flagship electric liftback assembled locally will commence towards the end of the year.
The three-pointed star is selling a zero-emission vehicle already in the world’s second-most populous country as the EQC has been imported to since 2020. However, the EQS will be the first dedicated EV to be sold in India as the crossover shares the same platform with the combustion-engined GLC. Also coming to the South Asian country are the EQB and EQE models, with both scheduled to arrive later this year.
Electric vehicles do not represent a hot commodity in India due to their high asking prices, which is especially true in the case of EVs sold by a luxury brand. For example, the aforementioned EQC kicks off at the equivalent of $144,567 at current exchange rates, mainly because the local authorities are taxing fully built import cars at an exorbitant 100%.
The local Mercedes-Benz division isn’t going into any details for the time being regarding how much money will have to be invested to build the EQS in India. However, Martin Schwenk did tell ANE around $54 million have been invested in the last two years to bring the grand total to approximately $351 million.
Mercedes has pledged to become a purely electric brand by 2030 where market conditions will allow it, but it’s safe to say India won’t be ready by then. Customer demand is unlikely to catch up in these next eight years, let alone for expensive models produced by luxury brands.
Source: Automotive News