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Frankfurt (Reuters) – With the new electric luxury sedan EQS, Daimler is attacking the US manufacturer Tesla, the leading manufacturer of high-priced electric cars.
Analysts described the electric counterpart to the Mercedes top model S-Class as a real “Tesla Fighter”, Daimler boss Ola Kllenius did not mention the strongest-selling electric car maker from California at the world premiere of the new Daimler luxury car on Thursday. The EQS marked the beginning of a new era at Mercedes-Benz, he explained. Despite many innovations in design, the five-meter-long EQS is a Mercedes through and through: “It is one of the surprises that there is no surprise.” Customers are very interested in the car.
The analysts of international banks already left Daimler behind the wheel of the new top-of-the-range Mercedes model. Afterwards, many were convinced that the Swabians would achieve a coup with the EQS. The first new Mercedes electric car launched in 2019, the SUV EQC, on the other hand, lagged behind the competition. “Daimler is the top dog for luxury sedans in terms of driving behavior, comfort and opulence in the interior. They will be able to transfer this to electric cars,” said Jrgen Pieper, auto analyst at Bankhaus Metzler.
The counterpart to the S-Class flagship model with a combustion engine, which was launched in autumn, is the most important model in the range of new electric cars from Mercedes-Benz. Electric cars initially make little or no profit because the production costs are high and the number of units is initially much lower than those of combustion cars. But the EQS will generate “reasonable returns”, Kllenius recently told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”.
This should be achieved through cost reductions. According to Pieper, however, it will primarily be a high price that splits the money into the till. The car will certainly cost more than the S-Class. Pieper guesses at least 150,000 euros. The price will only be known shortly before sales start in August in Europe and the USA. The fact that the EQS starts only a little later than the S-Class also bears risks for him, because it is about the same wealthy customer base. “There will certainly be a cannibalization effect of the EQS compared to the S-Class,” said Pieper.
EQS A “TESLA FIGHTER”
With a range of 770 kilometers and the ability to charge quickly, Daimler’s EQS will be Tesla’s most important challenger, said Kai Alexander Mller, Barclays auto analyst. The second generation of Tesla’s competitor Model S, announced for this year, can travel 660 kilometers without having to recharge. Deutsche Bank named the luxury car “Tesla Fighter” and “Game Changer”, not just for Mercedes, but for the entire German auto industry. “The car sets standards with technology, design and quality,” wrote car analyst Tim Rokossa. The EQS demonstrates that traditional manufacturers have made the switch to electromobility.
Three other investment banks – HSBC, RBC and UBS – raised their price targets for Daimler shares to up to 90 euros on the day of the premiere. Barclays raised the bar even higher to 100 euros. The Daimler share listed in the Dax currently ranks at just under 76 euros. In the past few months, stocks in German carmakers have been on the rise after long suffering from the VW diesel scandal and doubts about their ability to convert to zero-emission vehicles. Because market leader Volkswagen underpinned its determination to change course with the plan to build six Giga battery factories in Europe. BMW is also setting the pace.
The Landesbank Baden-Wrttemberg predicted that the share of sales of e-cars will increase from a good ten percent in Europe to 60 percent by the end of the decade. Mercedes also believes that a faster ramp-up is possible than previously thought, confirmed sales manager Britta Seeger.