Mercedes EQS SUV production may move to Bremen

Mercedes EQS SUV production may move to Bremen — 2023-11-29

Automotive Industry

This was reported by Automotive News, which learned from suppliers that production of the EQS SUV, which started in August 2022 at the US factory in Tuscaloosa for the global markets, is to be discontinued in the second half of this decade and continued at the German plant in Bremen. The cited reason is that Mercedes-Benz wants to make space in Tuscaloosa for the electric successor to the GLC.

The mid-size electric SUV – it is still unclear whether the production model will once again be called the EQC – is scheduled to roll off the production line in Alabama from the first quarter of 2026. One of the insiders described the model as a “cash cow”. According to analysts at AutoForecast Solutions, Mercedes-Benz expects the new electric GLC to reach a volume of 50,000 vehicles in the first year, more than double the current EQS SUV.

In the latest quarterly sales report, Mercedes praised the EQS SUV – in Q3 2023, sales increased by 162% compared to the same period last year. However, there are two catches: the EQS SUV was not yet on the market for the full three months in Q3 2022. And with 3,700 units in Q3 2023, sales remained at a rather manageable level.

An EVA2 model is already being built in Bremen

At first glance, the Bremen plant appears to be a suitable production location: A model based on Mercedes’ EVA2 platform, the EQE saloon, is already being built in northern Germany, so some facilities are already in place. However, the EQS SUV requires other parts in body construction. However, there should be no problems with the battery supply: Mercedes assembles the battery packs for the EQE in Hedelfingen in southern Germany, where the larger battery packs for the EQS saloon built in Sindelfingen are also manufactured. These packs are also used in the EQS SUV. They are transported to Bremen by rail.

With the start of production in August 2022, the EQS SUV was the brand’s first electric model to be built in the USA. The USA is also the most important sales market for the large SUV, which is also available as an optional seven-seater. In the current year, 7,086 EQS SUVs have been sold in the USA.

Although the model that is to replace the EQS SUV in Tuscaloosa will indirectly replace the EQC previously built in Bremen, it is unlikely to adopt the model designation. Current reports refer to the vehicle as the GLC EV, which is probably not yet the final sales designation. It has long been rumoured that the ‘EQ’ abbreviation will be phased out at Mercedes – officially because electric drives are set to become the standard in the coming years. However, it is also clear that the EQC has not been a success story to date. Despite earlier announcements, the model has never been launched on the US market. The range seemed too short for Mercedes to be able to score points on the US market.

With the new model, improvement is in sight: the GLC EV is expected to have a range of 300 miles or 482 kilometres according to the EPA. The platform is not yet known – the Electrek portal speculates about the MMA, which is actually intended for compact models in the “entry luxury” segment (an internal Mercedes definition). As a “core luxury” model, the choice could also fall on the MB.EA platform.

Even though it will presumably bear the GLC model designation in some form, the electric SUV will stand out visually from the current combustion version. At the front and rear, the vehicle should appear more rounded – this is also indicated by prototype photos.