Mercedes Preparing New "MEQ" Electric Sub-Brand
German automaker registers trademarks for a slew of model names under the MEQ sub-brandby Kirby, on
Mercedes-Benz’s push to build up its electric car portfolio received a huge jolt in the arm upon the revelation that the German automaker has registered a series of new model names in anticipation of the launch of its new MEQ all-electric sub-brand. According to Auto Express, the MEQ sub-brand will feature a number of all-electric models. The actual names of all these models have yet to be revealed, but the company has registered a treasure trove of names ranging from EQA, EQB, EQS, and all the way through EQX. The EQS is believed to be the first of these models to hit the market. The common belief is that the model will be a performance sedan in the mold of the Tesla Model S and could make its debut sometime in 2017.
While it’s unlikely that Mercedes will use all of the names it has registered, the way it went about cornering that specific naming market suggests that the automaker is planning to unveil multiple EV models, all of which will be slotted under the MEQ sub-brand. This ties up to an earlier report from Autocar, which suggested that Mercedes is gearing up to have four all-electric models in the market by 2020.
In addition to the registered model names, Mercedes also applied to register a number of slogans, including “EQ Inside,” “EQ Boost,” and “Generation MEQ.” These slogans will likely make up a significant part of the automaker’s marketing material once the sub-brand is launched.
Speaking of the launch, Mercedes has not given a specific timetable on when it plans to launch MEQ, but given the rumored timetable for the EQS and the goal to have four models in the market by 2020, it wouldn’t be surprising if the launch takes place in late 2017 or early 2018, giving Mercedes enough time to fill out the roster of models to meet its desired goal.
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Why it matters
While I expected Mercedes to fully immerse itself into the electric car market, I didn’t expect the company to actually create a sub-brand dedicated to this range. This is not just a range that can slot between the rest of the company’s ranges. This is an entirely new sub-brand that will work independent of Mercedes. That was surprising, although not entirely shocking given the direction the auto industry is headed in the future.
As I said, Mercedes has been effusive in showing all of its cards, but there have been some details that have come out that could shed some light into the planned MEQ sub-brand. For instance, the proposed EQS saloon is reportedly going to use an all-new, scalable pure-electric platform called EVA (Electric Vehicle Architecture). Since it’s scalable, it could potentially turn into the go-to platform of the entire MEQ range, saving the German automaker money on that front to focus on other aspects of the new sub-brand, including battery technology, and overall production.
The all-around platform should also give Mercedes the versatility to build a wide range of models for the new sub-brand. The EQS saloon appears to be the one that’s going to start the proceedings but once it’s released, the attention could turn into other model types. Dr. Thomas Weber, the outgoing R&D chief at Mercedes hinted to Autocar in May of 2016 that that the current C-Class, S-Class, GLA, and GLC will serve as the templates for the four EV models that are scheduled to arrive by 2020.