Mercedes sales boss Ola Källenius says focus is on zero emissions, but an eco-focused sub-brand could still be on the cards

Mercedes could consider creating an eco-focused sub-brand to rival the likes of BMW’s i division, according to sales and marketing boss Ola Källenius, but he thinks the company should first continue to focus on expanding its fleet of plug-in hybrid and zero-emissions models.

Read more: Mercedes trademarks EQ for electric car range name

“What we’re going to do in terms of the road to zero emissions is invest heavily in alternative drivelines and electrification,” he said. “That’s a very wide strategy, but it means that by the end of next year we will have 10 plug-in hybrid models, which, I think, is the widest portfolio of any luxury manufacturer.

“By the end of this year, we will have three electric cars, with the B-Class and the two Smarts. And at the end of next year we will launch a next-generation fuel cell vehicle, which is a zero-emissions vehicle based on the GLC platform.

“We could choose for the purpose-made electric vehicles to create some sort of sub-brand but, right now, Mercedes is focused on investing tremendous resources into the path towards zero emissions. It’s something that will affect the whole portfolio.”

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Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
Mercedes-Benz has based its all-electric vehicle on the existing B-class

Exceptionally refined with punchy overtaking abilities and impressive ride and handling. Premium driving experience at expense of ultimate usability

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16 May 2016
So 'SAAB' then? Oh, sub-brand - so some hokey letter, symbol or colour prefix? 'Bluefin Tuna' plugins?


16 May 2016
Mercedes PHEVs have worse electric range than anyone else's because they only equip them with the bare minimum battery to qualify for the tax breaks. This makes them very disappointing on fuel economy for anyone but the shortest commuters. Frankly it makes Mercedes look like they couldn't give a stuff about the environment and would like things to stay just the way they are thanks very much. We need to see a lot more innovation from Mercedes if they're going to avoid being left behind by the more committed manufacturers.

18 May 2016
Over the last 20 years I've owned several German cars from Audi and BMW and one from Mercedes Benz. Ownership of the Benz & Audi was an utter pain in the posterior. The moment the warranty ran out both of those cars started to develop electrical faults which were inconvenient and costly to sort out. The dealerships take no responsibility for their work and replaced electrical parts from MB carried a one-month warranty. I get the impression that the German brands have been using electrical component failures as an easy way of making money from customers after warranty expiration and as a way of pushing the consumer into buying a new car. Now we are moving towards purely electric cars - who would trust MB to make an entirely electric car when for the last 20 years they can't make a petrol car with lights that work properly?

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