FRANKFURT, July (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) is making China, the world’s top auto market, central to its next electric vehicle (EV) campaign starting in 2025, its CEO told German magazine Automobilwoche.
“To do this, we must master electric propulsion just as perfectly as digitalisation. That’s what our customers expect,” Ola Kaellenius was quoted as saying.
From 2025, all of Mercedes-Benz’s new vehicle platforms will only make EVs under a strategy the German luxury automaker outlined in 2021.
A senior executive told Automobilwoche the models the company plans to launch in China based on the upcoming MB.EA platform were being reviewed to ensure they better meet the needs of local customers, singling out space and digital content.
China remains the most relevant market for Germany’s automakers, but local brands are in control with an 81% share of the Chinese EV market in 2022, Counterpoint Research found.
China also has a significant stake in Mercedes-Benz, whose top two shareholders are Beijing Automotive Group Co Ltd (1958.HK) and Geely (GEELY.UL) Chairman Li Shufu.
At the same time, Berlin is trying to reduce its exposure to China’s economy as part of efforts to derisk the German economy that have intensified since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed German dependence on a single dominant gas supplier.