Mercedes-Benz revealed fresh details about its US product offensive at its annual North America dealer meeting last week.
Titled “Beyond,” the meeting held in Vancouver, British Columbia, offered an early look into how one of the world’s oldest automakers will position itself for an electric century. In front of an audience of more than 350 US and Canadian retailers, the automaker offered insight into its upcoming products and technologies.
“We are in the middle of a transformation. We showed how products and technology support the strategy,” Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis told Automotive News. At the meeting, Psillakis told dealers fresh products and improved supply should lift US sales by 5 to 10 percent this year, up from 286,764 vehicles in 2022.
Mercedes Dealer Board Chairman Joseph Agresta said the product pipeline includes a healthy mix of internal combustion engine and battery-powered vehicles.
“There’s a lot of EVs, and EV is certainly our future. But there’s still a commitment to the ICE vehicles. The ICE vehicles are going to support profitability and volume for some period of time,” Agresta said.
Dealers were shown eight vehicles, including the redesigned E-Class sedan, AMG SL 43 roadster, and Maybach EQS SUV.
While the latter can be considered a niche product, future EV launches will include two mainstream models coming next year, the all-electric CLA sedan and an electric GLC crossover. Rivaling the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y, respectively, Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming models are intended to be conquest vehicles for the EV age.
The compact CLA, which will be larger than its combustion namesake but with a sleeker profile inspired by the Vision EQXX as shown in Motor1’s rendering above, should offer 400 miles of range when it arrives in US stores in 2024.
Set to carry over the digital-first cockpit design of Mercedes’ current EVs, the electric CLA will aim to poach Tesla’s young, tech-focused customers. According to one dealer, Mercedes expects the CLA to bring 60 percent new buyers to the brand.
As for the electric GLC, it will be a successor to the EQC electric crossover, which was to be the brand’s first mass-volume EV in the US. However, the model’s US launch was eventually canceled due to its range of 220 miles, which was deemed too limited for the market.
The new model will arrive next year with about 300 miles of range and an all-new design. One dealer described it as having a more rounded front and rear than the combustion engine variant. The electric crossover is also said to feature a pair of power domes on the hood and a light signature running across the front.
Interestingly, neither the electric CLA nor the electric GLC were referred to as EQ models during the presentation, which could mean Mercedes is indeed serious about ditching its electric sub-brand.