Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Mercedes-Benz Could Build Out A Sub-brand To Take On BMW's i

Whenever an automaker does something, it is a safe bet that another one will follow in their footsteps. This is mostly attributed to German automakers. Case in point: When BMW launched the X6, Mercedes-Benz worked on a competitor that launched last year called the GLE-Coupe.

Mercedes-Benz could also be following BMW with creating a sub-brand that is focused on eco-friendly vehicles. Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz's head of marketing and sales told Autocar he is keen on the idea of doing something similar to BMW's i brand for alternative-fuel vehicles. But they're focused on putting a lot of resources into spreading "alternative drivelines and electrification” into their entire lineup.

“We could choose for the purpose-made electric vehicles to create some sort of sub-brand but, right now, Mercedes is focused on investing tremendous resources into the path towards zero emissions. It’s something that will affect the whole portfolio,” said Källenius.

“What we’re going to do in terms of the road to zero emissions is invest heavily in alternative drivelines and electrification. That’s a very wide strategy, but it means that by the end of next year we will have 10 plug-in hybrid models, which, I think, is the widest portfolio of any luxury manufacturer."

Källenius revealed that by the end of this year, Mercedes would have three electric vehicles (B-Class Electric Drive and two Smarts), followed by a new fuel-cell vehicle using the platform from the GLC a year later.

Pic Credit: Mercedes-Benz

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I'd love to be a fly on the wall when a corporate exec makes the case for building a sub-brand to compete with BMW's i-series which are now selling at less than 500 cars per month. That would take intestinal fortitude.