You can’t blame to Germans for not having a long-term vision. In interviews at the 2016 Paris Motor Show after unveiling Mercedes’ new all-electric ‘EQ’ brand, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche admitted that Tesla is currently the leader in electric vehicles, but he plans for his company to catch up to Tesla and become the new leader by 2025.
When asked by a Bloomberg reporter whether or not Tesla is the main competitor for Mercedes ‘EQ’, Zetsche said:
“At that point in time, obviously yes. We have set for ourselves a target 5 years ago where we are tracking behind to become the number 1 premium car manufacturer by 2020, but it looks like we are awful close right now already. Now we are setting a new target to ourselves and that’s to be the leader in electric premium vehicles as well – latest by 2025.”
That’s certainly a bold statement for a 9-year prediction. In comparison, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that anything more than 5 years is an eternity for him and that’s why all of Tesla’s recently announced vehicle programs, including the all-electric ‘Tesla Semi’ truck, which will compete with Daimler’s own truck division, are all planned within the next 5 years.
What the electric vehicle market, or the car market for that matter, will look like in 2025 is very hard to predict – especially when you consider what has been going on in electrification and self-driving technology in the past few years.
Nonetheless, it certainly exciting to see more competition in electric vehicles, even though it’s in the premium segment.
The ‘Generation EQ’ all-electric SUV unveiled by Mercedes last week will be the first all-electric vehicle built by Mercedes from the ground-up since the electric Mercedes B-Class had a Tesla powertrain. 3 more vehicles, two sedans and another SUV, are expected within the next few years and a total of 10 electric vehicles are expected under the new ‘EQ’ unit by 2025.
Here’s Zetsche’s interview with Bloomberg: