How Mercedes plans to launch EQC electric vehicle — carefully, gradually


Production of the Mercedes EQC will begin early next year in Germany, then in China later in the first half.

STOCKHOLM — Mercedes-Benz will increase production of its EQC full-electric vehicle only gradually next year to ensure warranty costs for the crossover do not spike.

The brand’s head of production and supply chain management, Markus Schaefer, said his main concern was monitoring the expensive, 80-kilowatt hour lithium ion battery, rather than ramping up assembly in the two vehicle plants in Bremen, Germany, and Beijing, China.

“We want to be sure we deliver Mercedes quality from day one in all aspects, and we have to watch the warranty side for customers as well,” Schaefer told reporters on the sidelines of the vehicle’s official debut in Sweden on Wednesday. “We don’t want customers ending up at the mechanic later.”

“Slowing down the ramp-up is a tool to make sure we do it right, to address all the unknowns that an electric car brings,” he said.

Production of the Mercedes EQC will begin early next year in Germany, then in China later in the first half. The first deliveries are expected by the middle of next year.

Currently, no problems have arisen at the battery-pack plant in Kamenz, Germany, Schaefer said, and all component manufacturers were carefully vetted.

Nevertheless, the possibility remained that building cars with a new technology at a scale Mercedes has never before attempted could prove trickier than expected. Schaefer prefers to prepare for possible problems with the battery.

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