Filling in the demand for high-end EVs.
Mercedes-Benz is pretty keen on getting into the market of high-end ultra-luxury vehicles that also happen to be zero emissions. True, those with the dough will find the choices lacking, with most ultra-luxury manufacturers still packing mild-hybrid or combustion engine options across their entire lineup.
The plan is to make use of the Maybach name and get that branding together with variants of the EQS saloon that's finally debuting next year. Talking to Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius says that they're pretty confident about the opportunity to take a big chunk of that specific market.
Gallery: Mercedes-Maybach GLS (2020)
“There’s room to do more with the Maybach brand name,” Kallenius said. “The electric platform offers some opportunities.” This is part of Kallenius' supposed strategy to help bring back larger margins for Mercedes. Shifting large luxury cars towards an electric future will ensure higher profits that can be used to fund larger projects like new technology, software operations, and cover any restructuring costs.
Overall costs have gone down this year despite work on new vehicles packed with the latest goodies from Mercedes, such as the updated S-Class and the EQS. Kallenius credits this better capital performance to efficiency measures introduced last year. Mercedes cars have had a solid foothold in recent years, outpacing rivals such as BMW and Audi, but returns have been hampered by poor efficiency. Of course, these profit margins are expected to increase moving forward, with small steps taken in the right direction.
“We have to improve the financial performance of the company,” Kallenius said. “Nobody here underestimates the challenges of the industry transformation -- but the opportunities for us prevail.”
The Maybach badge has enjoyed popularity in markets like China, which also happens to be the largest sales region for Mercedes. With demand in China starting to recover in recent weeks, revenue streams have been looking good, with the chance to continue with expansion plans beyond the traditional industrial business. “I see substantial potential for value creation -- as a luxury brand, through the transformation, and from an additional profit pool through digital business areas,” Kallenius said.