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Both Mercedes and BMW have their sights set on growth in China and taking down the industry leader, Tesla, new reports revealed this week.
Mercedes is going to try and count on a range boost to beat out Tesla's Model 3. The company's near-production concept of its CLA sedan has 466 miles of range on a single charge, Bloomberg reported this week.
It's said to be able to add 400km of range in just a 15 minute charge.
Mercedes Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer commented last weekend: “We’re taking it to the next level. This car is extremely important for innovation reasons and to push the limits for what we can do with a series car.”
The company is dealing with "disappointing sales" in China, where it is trying to keep up with both domestic auto manufacturers and lower priced Tesla vehicles.
Mercedes Chief Executive Officer Ola Källenius has said he thinks the "rapid growth" in the industry is over and that it's time to focus on quality, stating: “After 30, 40 years of an economic wonder, they’re reaching a level of maturity where you’re dealing with structural issues. We have to take a little bit of a cautious stance on that and see how things develop, and not expect rapid growth as far as the economy is concerned in the short term.”
For this reason, he believes Mercedes will be able to sidestep the price war currently taking place in EVs.
BMW is also hoping its new vehicles can make inroads in China. The automaker presented a prototype of its future electric-vehicle lineup this week, including its Vision Neue Klasse concept car, which will be on display at next week’s IAA show in Munich.
The vehicle is slated to be released in 2025 and sports a "digital display projected onto the entire width of the windscreen" and goes full Minority Report with " software that can process voice commands and hand gestures", according to Bloomberg.
The idea is to appeal to Chinese customers, who tend to like more "gadgets" with their EVs, the report says.
BMW CEO Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said the vehicle will set BMW's course for "the next decades".
He has also said that BMW continues to grow in China and isn't negatively affected by the ongoing price war, started by Tesla this year, because of the brand's positioning in the premium market.
The top-end Neue Klasse models reportedly are going to have a range of up to 497 miles and will be able to charge from 10% to 80% in under 30 minutes.
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