Mercedes’s new MMA electric vehicle platform will make its debut in 2024 on a new model, which will also signify a change to the entry point in the firm’s line-up, according to CEO Ola Kallenius.
On a recent investor call the German brand confirmed that the MMA platform, which will focus on “entry luxury” models, will also accept combustion engines, but that Mercedes has developed it with an electric-first approach.
New models based on the MMA underpinnings will redefine Mercedes’ range entry point too, with the brand pushing its most affordable models further up market with a greater focus on luxury – and sales margins, according to its investor presentations.
According to slides shown as part of the call, Mercedes aims to reduce its presence in the “entry luxury”, predicting a 25 per cent reduction in market share by 2026; sales volumes have already declined from around 680,000 cars in 2019 to approximately 570,000 units in 2021.
Despite this, from 2019 to 2021 the average sales price of Mercedes cars in this class rose by around 20 per cent – and the brand says it will be “significantly up” by 2026, reflecting the more luxury-focused approach it will take.
Kallenius said that “The entry point to the Mercedes brand in the future will be a different one than today.” As a result, expect the A-Class, A-Class saloon, CLA four-door coupe and shooting brake, and B-Class to all come under scrutiny, with the future of these models uncertain; they’re likely to be axed, with Mercedes outlining its “portfolio of variants” (which we understand to mean body styles in this compact class) will be slimmed down from seven to four.
This will tie in with an underpinning of its core luxury models – which covers cars such as the C-Class, E-Class and GLC SUV among others – with Mercedes targeting relatively constant sales volumes in these sectors as it moves towards a fully electric model range. At the top end of its portfolio the brand will focus even more of its development budget on its luxury cars where profit margins are higher.
Mercedes is targeting a 60 per cent increase in market share here; more Maybach variants and “ultra exclusive collectibles and a luxury customer experience” will be responsible for this growth, the brand claims.
The shifting structure of the range made possible by the firm’s new MMA platform will feature much technology derived from Mercedes’ experimental Vision EQXX electric prototype, which recently covered a journey of 626 miles on a full charge with a predicted range of 87 miles left.
A focus on efficiency from the battery, its control electronics and the motor will filter down to future Mercedes models, as well as Mercedes lightweight “bionic engineering” that involves 3D printing parts for a light but strong structure.
“This new MMA architecture ushers in a new generation of technology, both on the drivetrain side in terms of battery chemistry, efficiency. and the drivetrain itself,” Kallenius told attendees of the brand’s Capital Markets Day.
The future MMA-based model will also mark the introduction of a new infotainment set-up from Mercedes, called MB.OS, when it makes its debut in 2024.