Things are not going well for Mercedes-Benz EVs in China, where local carmakers dominate the market. That’s why Mercedes-Benz considered it appropriate to slash the prices of its electric vehicles in an effort to energize sales.
Mercedes-Benz has cut prices on its EQE and EQS electric luxury sedans in China by as much as $33,000 in a bid to boost sales. Strong competition from domestic and foreign automakers in the world’s largest EV market has impacted sales of the EQE and EQS sedan, with the automaker announcing price cuts on its website on November 15.
Following a similar move from Tesla in October, the price reductions went into effect today, with the carmaker’s Chinese website showing a base price of 478,000 yuan ($67,430) for the Mercedes EQE, down from 528,000 yuan ($74,480) the day before.
The EQS flagship electric sedan saw a more dramatic price cut of around $33,000, with the website listing it at 956,000 yuan ($134,860), compared to 1,190,000 yuan ($167,870) before. Mercedes-Benz said it would provide subsidies to customers who recently bought the cars at the previous prices.
According to unnamed insiders who spoke to Bloomberg, the automaker is making the cuts because sales of the EQE and EQS have been disappointing in China. The sources added that some dealers have already been carrying out promotions to try and boost sales, as Mercedes EQS deliveries at times dropped to as low as 100 a month.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Mercedes-Benz said it is “repositioning certain EQ models in China” as the top-end EV segment is still evolving in the country, especially for cars priced above 1 million yuan. The automaker noted it “continually observes and analyzes dynamic market developments, including the current positioning of other manufacturers in the luxury segment.”
Foreign and legacy car brands are falling behind rising domestic automakers in China. According to the China Passenger Car Association, Chinese automakers made up almost 80 percent of EV sales in the first seven months of 2022.
Mercedes-Benz sold approximately 8,800 EVs in China from January through July, including less expensive EQA, EQB and EQC models, data from the China Automotive Technology and Research Center show. Chinese EV leader BYD sold almost 220,000 EVs in October alone.
The EQS is the brand’s luxury and technology flagship, being equivalent to the S-Class in Mercedes-Benz’s EQ family of EVs. The problem in China is that its low-slung roof affects headroom for rear passengers, and wealthy Chinese customers generally prefer to sit in the back rather than drive the car themselves.