Mercedes-Benz will officially start building the 2020 EQC electric SUV starting early next year in Germany, but the automaker is being cautious about the launch. Mercedes-Benz is worried about warranty costs, so production will slowly ramp up.
The main concern is with the EQC’s 80-kilowatt hour lithium ion battery, which if there are issues when production starts next year, Mercedes-Benz could see its warranty costs spike. Markus Schaefer, the head of production and supply chain management recently told Automotive News that production will be limited at first rather than than ramping up assembly at the plants in Bremen, Germany, and Beijing, China.
“We want to be sure we deliver Mercedes quality from day one in all aspects, and we have to watch the warranty side for customers as well,” Schaefer stated. “We don’t want customers ending up at the mechanic later.”
“Slowing down the ramp-up is a tool to make sure we do it right, to address all the unknowns that an electric car brings.”
The large battery pack is the heart of the EQC and there are hundreds of parts that have the potential to fail. “It’s the supply chain behind the doors of Kamenz” Schaefer added. “There are hundreds of components that have to come together from various new suppliers, Tier 2 and Tier 3, which are in the background, and we have to see their performance.”
Production of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC will start early next year in Germany, which will then be followed by China in the first half of 2019. Sales of the 200-mile range EQC won’t arrive in the US until 2020.