Mercedes boss on e-mobility: “We are reinventing the car”

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Mercedes boss on e-mobility:

Ola Kallenius, CEO of the car manufacturer Mercedes, spoke in an interview with Die Zeit about the spin-off of the truck division, the change in the automotive industry, the move away from combustion engines and the electrification of car mobility.

“We haven’t experienced a change like the one in the automotive industry for decades. We are reinventing the car,” explains Kallenius at the beginning of the interview: “Mobility should be safe, intelligent and CO2-free, all at the same time,” said the Mercedes boss. Most of that transformation needs to happen “in this decade,” he adds. The change in the vehicle industry is “so profound that we have to reorganize Daimler,” says Kallenius about the division of the Daimler Group into the now independent truck division Daimler Truck and the now completely independent car manufacturer Mercedes. “The past week was historic for us. Daimler is history now. We are now called the Mercedes-Benz Group.”

The split was a rational decision, explains the Mercedes boss. “On the one hand there is the Mercedes-Benz brand for luxury cars and premium vans, on the other hand there are commercial vehicles”. And when “the upheavals in an industry are so massive, you have to be fast and agile as a company,” he says. That’s why they have now dissolved “a shared flat” so that each division can move into its own apartment. This allows “faster decision-making processes” than would be the case in a larger group.

“Now we’re going electric”

“We have to move away from fossil fuels. So it makes sense to change the drive type. Now we’re going electric,” says Kallenius about the drive of the future. And this future is “digitalized and decarbonized. This is a task for mankind”. Everyone now sees that “climate change is our major task for the future” and that the greatest danger is doing nothing. Specifically for the automotive industry, this means that three things have to be reconciled: “The product has to be CO2-neutral. We need an infrastructure so that we can all be emission-free on the road. And we need an energy transition, i.e. towards the production of green electricity”.

When asked briskly whether, in view of the looming climate crisis, it is still right to build large and heavy electric cars instead of smaller ones, Kallenius replies that “it is our job to offer the most climate-friendly alternative in every segment that customers are enthusiastic about “. It starts “compactly with the electric EQA and goes up to the top-of-the-range EQS”. And Germany even benefits from the fact that Mercedes also produces luxurious cars so successfully here: “This is the basis for good jobs, apprenticeships, tax revenue and also the financial means for high-tech made in Germany”. Mercedes alone will invest more than 60 billion euros in the electrification and digitization of its vehicles in the coming years.

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6 thoughts on “Mercedes boss on e-mobility: “We are reinventing the car””

  1. I just always find it interesting that the switch away from fossil fuels is now being sold by the car manufacturers as a completely new challenge that could not have been foreseen. One would have m.E. really had many, many years to think about what future, innovative and environmentally friendly drive concepts could look like long before the diesel crisis and did not wait until Tesla and China are now driving everyone in front of them. Studies and concepts for this already existed, but unfortunately these were not followed up accordingly.

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  2. It sounds like: “We’re reinventing the wheel” with the perfectly matching title picture “totally loooosgelOOOst von der Eeeeerde”…Merci Merc, ymmd :)”

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  3. From the article:

    “In response to a brisk question as to whether, in view of the looming climate crisis, it is still right to build large and heavy electric cars instead of smaller ones, Kallenius replies that “it is our task to find the most climate-friendly alternative in every segment that customers are enthusiastic about to offer”. It starts “compactly with the electric EQA and goes up to the top-of-the-range EQS”.”

    Interesting:
    The Smart shown on the Mercedes-Benz site

    https://www.Mercedes Benz.com/de/design/smart/
    

    he doesn’t mention..

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  4. By reinventing the car, they probably mean pricing. From what it looks like, the future target will be well-heeled buyers who are loyal to the brand. With the advantage of the tax write-off models, that will also be quite acceptable for them. The people have to use somewhere else for CO2-friendly cars “suitable for families”. It remains to be seen whether the buyer clientele is sufficient for the group to develop successfully. But the taxpayer will fix it.

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  5. When I think of Mercedes, I think of the then A-Class (1997). The one that fell over at the moose test. I remember how we all puzzled at work how something like this could happen to Mercedes. Well, today I know that the A-Class is an electric car converted to a combustion engine. Without a battery in the ground, the thing just fell over. At that time they had a ready-made electric car, but simply refused to sell it and instead built a combustion engine out of it.

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  6. Mercedes is in the right place at the right time with the right products, namely very expensive high-tech. German engineering is slowly taking over in the field of electromobility. Mercedes has solvent customers and will migrate them to electric cars. An electric Maybach and an electric G-Class next to the EQS will develop corresponding radiance. These are cars like the Taycan or now the ID.buzz. You want them and the price is not an issue.

    For lower incomes, the VW Group has and will have some offers. But, if we are honest, the goal cannot be that every low-income earner can buy a new electric car. There will be sharing and shuttle services as part of autonomous driving. Because even an electric car is not the turnaround in traffic and it is therefore ecologically very good if the short-term use of an electric car is cheap, but ownership remains expensive.

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