The electric crossover won't be coming stateside after all.
Mercedes's aggressive moves to take on Tesla and own the premium all-electric vehicle market won't include selling the EQC compact crossover. "Following a comprehensive review of market developments, the EQC will not be offered in the United States for now," a company spokesperson told Autoblog. On the surface, it looks like a strange decision as the compact crossover market in the US is incredibly lucrative. However, we notice that the quote ends with the words "for now." The announcement was foreshadowed last year by Mercedes delaying the electric crossover coming to the US as "a strategic decision to first support the growing customer demand for the EQC in Europe."
The strategic reason for delaying the EQC coming to the US wasn't just about meeting customer demand. Mercedes also needs to satisfy European regulation regarding the percentage of CO2 an automaker's overall fleet is allowed to produce. The German factory in Bremen can only build 50,000 EQC units a year, so it appears Mercedes needs all of them in Europe "for now" to dilute its overall emissions and avoid being fined. Mercedes isn't the only company that's worldwide EV rollout plan has been affected by European regulations. Kia had to use the same strategy for its all-electric Kia Soul.
The decision must be disappointing for Mercedes as America's hunger for compact SUVs is insatiable, and the EQC's pricing plan was aggressive. It would have been an entry-level all-electric crossover with a price tag of around $69,000 and gone head to head with the Tesla Model X, as well as the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace. The only good news for Mercedes is that BMW has decided not to sell the iX3 in the US yet as well. The bad news is that it will likely allow Tesla to go relatively unchallenged in the US in the segment while allowing an opportunity for Audi to get a good foothold. Unfortunately for Jaguar, the excellent I-Pace is looking like an also-ran already.