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Mercedes’s electric SUV to take on Tesla
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its much-anticipated electric SUV on Tuesday, marking the start of a German onslaught against Tesla’s dominance of the fast-growing market for premium battery cars.
Daimler-owned Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi and Porsche divisions are all gunning for the $52 bn Californian upstart, with early publicity efforts emulating its tech-industry halo. The market for upscale electric cars is Tesla’s to lose, with sales of its entry-level Model 3 sedan expected to reach about 50,000 cars this year and almost double that in 2019.
The Mercedes EQC - whose launch programme in Stockholm features yoga in a direct appeal to the Millennials who have flocked to Tesla - is the first production model under the carmaker’s electric EQ sub-brand. It will be closely followed by similarly hyped debuts for BMW and Audi. While Tesla currently has a strong hold on the luxury electric market, I don’t think this will be the case after the arrival of the German premium offerings,” said Wajih Hossenally, an automotive powertrain analyst with IHS Markit. “Tesla has virtually zero competition - but this will change from 2019 onwards.”
Rival forecaster LMC Automotive agrees, predicting a steady decline in Tesla’s share of an exploding electric-car market over the next decade, from today’s 12.3 percent to 2.8 percent, even as its absolute sales continue to rise.
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