And here's why this is a good thing.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC all-electric crossover has just had its official online debut and yet the automaker is already expressing some concerns regarding its eventual warranty costs. According to Automotive News Europe, the German automaker plans to gradually increase EQC production beginning next year in order to keep projected warranty costs in check.
"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."
Furthermore, "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." Remember, this is somewhat new territory for the automaker, aside from the electrified version of the previous generation B-Class. The EQC was designed and engineered from the get-go to be an EV.
Fortunately, Mercedes has not reported any issues at its battery-pack plant in Kamenz, Germany, so take this is an early good sign. Clearly Mercedes does not want to take any chances that could potentially damage its electric vehicle reputation. Building an EV at a large scale for the first time is a challenging task.
For example, Schaefer is already worried about potential battery problems. "This is the heart of the electric vehicle, which is very much in charge of safety and performance of the vehicle as well as long life and costs," he said. But what really concerns him most (and likely Mercedes as a whole, too) is supply chain issues.
"There are hundreds of components that have to come together from various new suppliers, Tier 2 and Tier 3, which are in the background, and we have to see their performance." But what once all of this has hopefully been worked out, Schaefer is not particularly concerned about achieving higher production rates in order to meet demand.
And remember, the EQC is only the automaker's first EV, so it's also a test case that can iron out any number of issues that could later interfere with mass EV production.