Friday, April 13, 2018

Mercedes-Benz Launches The EQ Brand For Their Hybrid Electric Cars - The C350e & E350e Now Designated EQ Power Models


Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has officially launched the EQ brand here in Malaysia. With this new brand into the Mercedes-Benz portfolio,  the plug-in hybrid models of E 350 e and C 350 e now being designated as EQ Power models. The EQ Power brand will eventually pave the way for EQ, a title reserved solely for a range of pure electric vehicles in the future. These future range of cars will be based on the Generation EQ concept car introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 2016.

This re-branding exercise follows the successful launch of the locally-produced Mercedes-Benz S 400 h luxury sedan and later the Mercedes-Benz E 300 Bluetec hybrid. These two cars were the first hybrid electric cars offered by Mercedes-Benz here in Malaysia after which, MBM had recently expanded their local hybrid line-up with Mercedes-Benz C 350 e and E 350 e plug-in hybrid vehicles. These two vehicles are the ones that will now have the EQ Power badging stuck on their flanks to mark their product differentiation.

“The name EQ is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of emotion and intelligence. It is a rare and proud moment for us that we are able to introduce an all-new brand under the Mercedes-Benz portfolio which includes Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach. We believe that the EQ brand will take us forward into the future of mobility with emphasis and innovation in connectivity, autonomous drive capabilities and shared services. With this, we reaffim that Mercedes-Benz is, and always will be, the pioneering brand in the automotive industry as we have been since we invented the automobile over 130 years ago,” said Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO, Dr Claus Weidner elaborating a little further on what the EQ brand meant at the launch.

Further expanding on what was stated by Dr. Weidner, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, Sales & Marketing, Vice President, Mark Raine. said that, “By launching the EQ brand led by our technology leaders and range-topping EQ Power C 350 e and E 350 e plug-in hybrid automobiles, we are able to create something highly emotional. The thrill of immediate acceleration with the sustainability of efficient energy consumption. To us, electric mobility is more than an alternative drivetrain. The EQ brand is our technology calling card for customer-focused electric mobility. It extends beyond the vehicle itself to an ecosystem designed to deliver the best value, convenience and luxury to our customers and fans,” 

It seems Mercedes-Benz is developing a holistic approach to their next generation powertrain and drivetrain systems. This could be a progression from of their traditional badging. Most Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts would know that their model numbering has always been subjected to engine size like the 200, 300, 450 numerals, then added to segment of class like the A,C,E and S classes and now with the plug-in hybrids and future all electric vehicles, it could mean a slightly different naming system altogether. Which is what the new EQ brand may stand for.

Of course, right now the premium brand has plans which is holistic in nature from the outset. So following the successful launch of the first Mercedes-Benz branded charging station in Bangsar Shopping Centre, MBM have added new charging stations in Sunway Pyramid, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and Desa Park City with more locations to be announced shortly. Similar to the renaming strategy for the C 350 e and E 350 e plug-in hybrids, all current and future charging stations will be rebranded as EQ facilities to represent the concept in total. These EQ branded charging stations are available for all other makes of hybrid cars but we do see a number of users of these other brands hogging up these bays (especially in Bangsar Shopping Centre). A bit more civic mindedness is in order here folks.

Another effort to make the EQ brand a little more comprehensive is the news that Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia has also introduced the EQ Agility Care package for added value and peace-of-mind throughout the ownership experience with the EQ Power C350 e or EQ Power E350 e.  

They have announced that for an ownership tenure of over three to five years, customers will enjoy scheduled vehicle maintenance and servicing along with an EQ Power charging wallbox packaged with their new EQ Power C 350 e and EQ Power E350 e over the same period. With this package, the Mercedes-Benz Financial range of products expands further, where customers are able to plan and project plug-in hybrid electric vehicle running costs over time. This leads to greater convenience for customers.

So yes, in a future where Malaysia is promoting the assembly and sale of energy efficient vehicles especially those which will be either electric hybrids or fully electric vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz EQ Power branding exercise and products makes perfect sense in the long run. It also seems like it is a prelude of what will be coming next in terms of passenger cars. 

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