Mercedes-Benz is mulling over to introduce a completely new sub-brand in near future to fend the popularity of its arch-rival BMW’s ‘i’ brand – said Merc's head of Sales & Marketing Ola Källenius as per a report. For the uninitiated, the Bavarian automaker introduced its ‘i’ brand in 2011 in Munich at the BMW Welt. The first vehicle from the sub-brand – the i3 was launched in 2013 while the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car was introduced in 2014. The latter is also available in India and was showcased the 2016 Indian Auto Expo.
In January 2016 BMW announced that it has retailed more than 50,000 i-series vehicles worldwide (in a span of two years). It seems that this is enough to jolt the three-pointed star into developing a new sub-electric band. However, the report claims that at present Mercedes-Benz will invest heavily on the development of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
By the end of this year, Mercedes-Benz will have three all-electric models - the B-Class and the two Smarts (the company does not retail the Smart in India). Next year the company will launch fuel-cell, zero emission vehicle and will be crafted on the new GLC’s platform. The latter made its Indian debut at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo and is expected to launch in coming months. In addition to this, the automaker will also have ten plug-in hybrid models by the end of next year.