Benz to launch electric SUV at motor show

Company sees potential for Thailand as a hub for production of batteries for EVs

Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) will launch its fully electric compact luxury SUV at the Bangkok International Motor Show this March and a certain number could be delivered this year.
Roland Folger, president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz (Thailand), said that the first batch of Mercedes-Benz EQC will be imported and the car maker will try to price this imported model so that it is on par with those to be produced locally in 2021.
Earlier, Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) held discussions with the Board of Investment (BOI), clarifying the car maker’s high costs of producing electric vehicles, he said.
If taxes are imposed on an imported electric car, the price will skyrocket and no one would buy electric cars, he explained.
Electric car owners should receive privileges similar to those given to electric car users in other countries in addition to incentives from car makers, he said. Such privileges range from the waiving of toll fees, special parking spaces to special lanes.
Last year, Thailand’s premium car market reported sales of 31,400 units, steady from a year earlier. Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) sold 15,000 cars in 2019, down 4 per cent from the previous year.
This year, the overall economy of Southeast Asia is expected to grow as the US-China trade war has seen the region gain as a result of its geographical potential, he said.
Investors have considered risk diversification to this region, which offers several advantages including low wages and a good location.
Folger said that Southeast Asia is an important strategic region for Mercedes-Benz but the AEC country’s political situations must be continuously monitored.
The advent of electric cars is good for Thailand which already has battery plants for such vehicles giving it the potential to become the electric vehicle battery manufacturing base for export, he added.
Recently, Mercedes-Benz introduced SUV with plug-in hybrid engine Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e at its showrooms nationwide.
The luxury car maker will also launch Mercedes-Benz GLB in Bangkok International Motor Show this March.

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