Mercedes announced the EQ name in 2016 as a new sub-brand for its battery-electric vehicles. The first EQ-branded model from the company arrived in 2019, but the name could already be on the way out if a new Handelsblatt report is accurate.
According to the German publication, Mercedes will drop the EQ designation from its BEVs starting in 2024, reverting to its traditional naming structure. One of the report’s sources said that Mercedes would no longer need a separate sub-brand for its BEVs once the automaker stops producing combustion-powered cars. The report also stated that the decision to kill the EQ sub-brand has already been decided, and it’s just a question as to when it’ll happen that remains unanswered inside the automaker.
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Another insider told Handelsblatt that the latest Mercedes could remove the branding from its cars as soon as BEV sales surpass the brand’s gas and diesel vehicles. One of the first models to buck the EQ trend could be the electric G-Class, scheduled to go on sale in 2024. The automaker is also launching its new MMA architecture in the same year. Mercedes designed the platform for BEVs first, but it can accommodate gas and diesel powertrains as needed. Handelsblatt reached out to Mercedes, but the automaker did not want to comment on the speculation.
While the EQ branding will disappear from future Mercedes models, the company isn’t altogether abandoning the name. The automaker wants to use the branding as a technology brand for EV accessories and services, like wall boxes, charging services, and more. Mercedes announced at CES last week that it plans to invest $1 billion into an EV charging network in North America, which could be a perfect recipient for the EQ name.
As Handelsblatt noted, the move should make it easier for customers to navigate Mercedes’ crowded lineup. Names like C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class have recognition with customers, and names like EQE SUV and EQS SUV aren’t the strongest when they are the electric equivalents to the popular GLE and GLS. Mercedes has put a lot of resources into the brand, but its end seems inevitable as EQ goes from being a simple sub-brand to the core of the automaker’s lineup.