By the end of 2015, Mercedes-Benz had fallen behind its competition in U.S. sales. While in catch-up mode, the company steered into the passing lane, floored the gas pedal, and is accelerating fast.
Sales of BMW and Lexus vehicles both surpassed Mercedes at the end of last year. To make matters worse, there are some who would say the company also lags behind Audi and Tesla when it comes to innovation and technology.
So far this year, though, Mercedes-Benz is on pace to outsell both BMW and Lexus. Through May, Mercedes holds a roughly 20,000-vehicle lead over each. Mercedes also has plans to further distance itself from Audi and Tesla by introducing new vehicles to snag some of their sales.
The Tesla Model X and Audi Allroad are not high-volume best-sellers by any stretch of the imagination. They are both niche vehicles with a narrow audience, but Mercedes-Benz has plans to field competitors to both.
Reports say the concept will be nearly production-ready, complete with an interior, functioning technology, and scaled to the production model’s actual size. Rather than a concept, perhaps we should call this a pre-production prototype. Styling cues could come from the Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile concept, pictured above.
The Mercedes SUV will take on the Model X, as well as all-new electric SUVS from Audi and Jaguar. This will be the German automaker’s first entry into a line of dedicated electric vehicles, which will also include a full-size sedan to challenge the Model S.
Expect the electric Mercedes-Benz SUV to be available in 2019.
The future of Mercedes isn’t all electric, though. The company has the E-Class wagon and now sees an opportunity to modify it to take on the Audi Allroad.
With some extra ground clearance, plastic underbody cladding, all-wheel drive, new wheels, and a higher price tag, Mercedes can effectively field a competitor to the Allroad and provide luxury shoppers with an alternative to the Outback.
The tentatively named Mercedes-Benz E-Class All Terrain will also debut in Paris and be available sometime next year.
If you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle, which brand is at the top of your shopping list?