Daimler is poised to accelerate its plug-in electrified vehicle lineup as the segment gains share and competition increases from Tesla and Audi, CEO Dieter Zetsche says.
Zetsche shared insights with analysts on Thursday during a call on second-quarter results. His remarks come as rivals Tesla Motors and Audi prepare their own push to ramp up premium electric cars.
“It is very important to get the right timing,” Zetsche said about Daimler adjusting its planning. “As a tendency, and as a trend, we have become more bullish in that regard.”
Daimler will reveal more about its plans for plug-in electrified vehicles at the Paris auto show in October, he said. Last month, Daimler’s Chief Development Officer Thomas Weber said that the automaker will display a prototype of an electric-powered Mercedes car with a 500-km (310-mile) range at the Paris show. It will go on sale before 2020, Weber said.
On Thursday, Daimler reiterated it will increase overall spending in research and development. Daimler will invest in developing new low-emission and fuel-efficient engines, alternative drive systems, autonomous driving technology, and a new generation of batteries.
Daimler’s PEV campaign is part of the German automaker’s push to gain the title of leading premium automaker in sales. Last year, BMW retained that title posting sales of 1.91 million BMW-branded passenger cars while Mercedes sold 1.87 million cars, compared with a 3.6 percent jump to 1.80 vehicles sold by Audi.