Mercedes warns of 'brutal' electric vehicle market amid chaotic price war

Mercedes electric cars

Mercedes said it was committed to its EV goals

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 27/10/2023

- 09:10

'I can hardly imagine the current status quo is fully sustainable for everybody'

The chief financial officer of Mercedes-Benz has described the electric vehicle market as “brutal” with brands struggling to keep up with changing conditions.

Harald Wilhelm warned that the company would likely hit the lower end of its sales forecast because of heavy price cuts and supply chain issues.

Mercedes-Benz had forecast a 12 to 14 per cent adjusted return on its sales, with its third-quarter earnings falling.

The Stuttgart-based manufacturer said it remained committed to electric vehicle targets, but added that it boosted profit through its combustion engine portfolio.

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Some manufacturers have attempted to sell electric cars for a lower price than traditional petrol or diesel versions, even with the higher production costs.

As a result, Harald Wilhelm described the electric vehicle market as a “pretty brutal space”.

He continued, saying: “I can hardly imagine the current status quo is fully sustainable for everybody.”

The chief financial officer added that “we are beyond the worst” when it comes to inflation and energy pricing, Reuters reported.

Mercedes-Benz has a wide range of electric cars on offer, including the EQA, EQB, EQC, EQE and EQS, as well as the EQV minivan.

Other manufacturers have been offering price cuts for consumers on popular electric vehicle models, including Tesla and Ford.

Tesla dropped the price of its wildly popular Model 3 by £3,000, with the cheapest version setting drivers back £39,990, with the Long Range version costing £10,000 more.

However, the Performance Model 3 is no longer available for purchase in the UK, with many hoping the vehicle will launch early next year.

Other price drops were seen earlier this year when the Elon Musk-led brand slashed around £8,000 from the ticket price of its vehicles.

Many brands are hopeful that the switch to electric vehicles will accelerate in coming years when prices drop and the charging infrastructure improves.

The average price of a new electric car is still around £30,000 with some drivers admitting that the large upfront cost of an EV Is impacting their decision to switch.

Forecasts have shown that electric cars and expected to reach price parity with petrol and diesel vehicles before the end of the decade.

The director of Suzuki GB predicted that used electric cars could reach price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles by next year.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last month that the deadline to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles would be delayed from 2030 to 2035.


Tesla EV charging

Tesla has slashed its prices in recent months


He said: “I also think that at least for now, it should be you the consumer that makes that choice, not Government forcing you to do it.

“Because the upfront cost is still high – especially for families struggling with the cost of living.”

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