But US customers will need to wait longer.
The launch of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ electric range hasn't gone according to plan, to say the least. Originally, the Mercedes EQC was expected to go on sale in the US in early 2020. Starting at $67,900, the Mercedes EQC costs less than its competitors such as the Tesla Model X ($84,990), Audi e-tron ($74,800) and Jaguar I-Pace ($69,850), giving Mercedes a huge advantage.
However, a recent delay has pushed the EQC's launch back to 2021. A report by Reuters also claimed that Mercedes was forced to reduce 2020 production targets for the EQC electric SUV.
Originally, Daimler expected to sell around 25,000 EQC models in 2019 but only built around 7,000 units. As a result, production targets for the Mercedes EQC were allegedly reduced from 60,000 to 30,000 for 2020. A supply shortage of battery cells from LG Chem was blamed for the production shortfall.
However, Mercedes has reached out to us and denies these claims, adding that it plans to build 50,000 Mercedes EQC electric SUVs this year. This still falls short of the originally claimed 60,000-unit production target, however.
"Currently we cannot satisfy the pleasingly high demand for the EQC," a company representative told CarBuzz. "We focused first on selected customers only who have registered and informed themselves. We are continuously working on a further increase of the potential output quantity, so that our customers can receive their new vehicle as quickly as possible. Production planning for 2020 has not been withdrawn. We continue to plan with around 50,000 EQC units in production this year."
The Mercedes EQC debuted in Europe, China and the Asia-Pacific markets in 2019. "It is a strategic decision to first support the growing customer demand in Europe for the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC. As a result of this decision, the US market launch date of the Mercedes-Benz EQC will be rescheduled to CY2021 (originally, CY2020)", Mercedes confirmed.
This is indeed unfortunate for Mercedes, but German rivals Audi and BMW will likely benefit from this. Audi already has a head start over Mercedes since the e-tron SUV is already on sale, while the BMW iNext SUV is expected to begin production in 2021.
While US customers will have to wait longer to get behind the wheel of the EQC, Mercedes will continue expanding its EQ lineup. A recent teaser confirmed the production Mercedes EQS sedan inspired by last year's Vision EQS Concept car will be unveiled this year to take on the Porsche Taycan. Essentially, it will be the electric equivalent of the Mercedes S-Class flagship sedan. A world debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in March seems likely.