Daimler's Dieter Zetsche Says Customers Want More AMG Models, Not Electrics

2014 SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Production Car 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
While every automaker is working out solutions to provide more electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz included, customers of the premium brand from Germany desire something else.
According to Dr. Dieter Zetsche, the boss of Daimler AG - Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, their customers want more Mercedes-AMG models.

In spite of the claimed customer interest in Mercedes-AMG sports cars, which obviously leads to increased deliveries in the segment and the development of new models in that range, the German brand still invests in pure-electric vehicles.

Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz will focus on electric vehicles instead of fully autonomous technology for now. The statement does not mean that Stuttgart’s three-pointed-star will forget about autonomous cars, but rather that it will invest a more significant part of their research and development budget into electric drivetrains.

Dr. Zetsche explains that it is important for Mercedes-Benz to be perceived as a technological leader, but that they “can't always be that, but should always try to.

If you ask us, they are a little too late for the mass-production electric car market, and autonomous technology is already being implemented through the Autopilot feature of Tesla cars.

Daimler’s CEO believes that Tesla’s sales volumes are “minuscule” on a global scale, and continues to underline the difference between market demand and available regulations for electric vehicles and autonomous cars.

Some of you might remember that Daimler AG and Tesla Motors used to have a partnership, and those who have climbed aboard a Tesla Model S might have observed some controls from Mercedes-Benz models, like stalks and buttons.

Going back to Dr. Zetsche’s responses in an interview with the Australians at CarAdvice, Daimler’s boss reaffirmed the company’s vision for “accident-free driving” and said that they continue a process to “reinvent the automobile.” He also took the opportunity to remind everyone that the founders of the Daimler company were the inventors of the automobile, so it is their job to “reinvent” it for the coming years.

In Zetsche’s view, customer demand for electric and autonomous cars (not necessarily both at the same time) has “accelerated” before relevant regulatory bodies have set out rules for these vehicles.

Unlike electric vehicles, autonomous technology is raising concerns about safety and risks, and Mercedes-Benz prefers to “act responsibly” to keep the “positive momentum of this technology.” In other words, they will wait for legislation to allow self-driving vehicles on the road.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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