Daimler is in the midst of an interesting process of reconstructing its business. Or, rather, restructuring its operations, which includes deeper ties with other manufacturers, rethinking of the Smart brand, and turning Mercedes-Benz into a much more than just a carmaker. In fact, Daimler’s lead designer believes the marque is already more of a lifestyle brand than an automaker.
In a recent Skype interview with Forbes’ Nargess Banks, Daimler and Mercedes chief design officer Gorden Wagener provided details about the latter’s transition into a luxury lifestyle brand that offers a wide range of products, varying from small electric city cars to Maybach limousines.
“I don’t see us as an automotive company so much but more of a lifestyle and luxury brand as our work goes way beyond cars,” Wagener said when asked to define the company he is working for. “We already feature in the list of the most influential lifestyle brands and our vision, for the next ten years, is to make Mercedes the most loved luxury brand. We know we have the potential and to do so will come from design, from creating emotion. This doesn’t just come from the products, but the ecosystem around it.”
Getting back to the automotive aspect of Mercedes’ business, Wagener assured the brand’s electric concept cars are as close as possible to the actual production EQ-branded electric vehicles. Of course, don’t expect to see anything close to the shape-shifting Vision AVTR concept on the assembly lines but the “Vision cars are around 80 percent reality, so you will see much of what is on the concept cars in our production EQs.”
We are also happy to learn about Mercedes’ intentions to turn EQ into a lot more than just a line of electric vehicles. Eventually, Wagener wants to see it become a standalone brand but at least for now he sees it “as an independent brand taking on the whole (Mercedes product) family from A to S.”