Mercedes Won't Continue With EQ Sub-Brand

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Mercedes-Benz spent a lot of time and likely money launching its EQ sub-brand for electric vehicles. Even so, the automaker appears to have realized there’s no point in separate branding when it plans to convert its entire catalog to EVs. 

The Drive found a report from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, which stated that Mercedes would kill the EQ brand by the end of next year. That will leave several years in which the automaker sells both gas and electric variants of nearly identical vehicles. Mercedes launched the brand in 2016 and currently has three SUVs and two sedans bearing the name in the United States. 

For example, the EQB electric crossover would sell next to the GLB gas model, though, without the “EQ” branding, the EV might become a trim level of the overall GLB offering. If that’s the case, the challenge will be maintaining the visibility of electric models as they sell alongside their gas counterparts.

As The Drive notes, Mercedes isn’t alone in facing this challenge. BMW, Volvo, Volkswagen, and others have separated EVs from existing product lines with unique branding, but before the brands reach complete electrification, there will be several models with confusingly similar names to gas vehicles. 

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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5 of 13 comments
  • NJRide NJRide on Jan 12, 2023

    I think this is an extension of the Bolt discussion in a way. The carmakers have made EVs palatable to early adopters but not to John Q. Carbuyer. Now that mandates and investing are pointing in an EV direction, they have to "de-weird' the EVs at least to an extent. I still think there will be plenty of ICE sales 10 years from now and companies are making a mistake with longer product intervals for their ICE models.

  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Jan 12, 2023

    I see the reasoning behind this but it is still going to create a lot of confusion. IMO the right way to handle the naming would be to use appropriate German letters after the model number to designate the power source, e.g., "GLS 580B" for Benzin, "GLS 450D" for diesel, or "GLS 580E" for electricity.

    • RHD RHD on Jan 12, 2023

      That makes a lot of sense. Apparently, the boardrooms exist to keep old people wealthy while making silly decisions that make life difficult for the rest of the company - and the customers. Add an E, make a minor change or two to the appearance, and voila, there you have it.

  • Sckid213 Sckid213 on Jan 12, 2023

    I wonder if part of it is due to the lukewarm reception of all EQ vehicles so far

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jan 12, 2023

    I was not even aware that MB sells EVs. EQ sounds like Assembly language.