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Tesla Motors may be creating waves in the automotive industry, but Mercedes-Benz is unfazed by the growth of the electric car specialist brand.

At the recent reveal of the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLC compact SUV, the chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche, essentially stated that he isn’t worried about the electric upstart brand.

“These days Tesla is selling 50,000 vehicles in a total market of 80 million. So it’s not our number one priority to compete with Tesla,” Zetsche said.

tesla-models-85-apr2015-1

However, Zetsche made it clear that he sees his main Teutonic rivals – Audi and BMW – as the main brands against which Mercedes-Benz must challenge for technological dominance.

Audi, for instance, has confirmed it will build an all-electric SUV, the Q6 (seen below in a teaser image from Audi), while BMW has its hybridized and electrified i3 and i8 model ranges. Mercedes-Benz has the B-Class Electric as its main EV model, and it also has a number of plug-in hybrids, including in the C-Class and the new GLE.

“It’s very clear that Audi and BMW are our main competitors and that is true in every single segment. And we are, and have been, successful in this competition.

Audi Q6

“When we would offer an electric SUV, of course our intention would be to beat Audi, and if BMW were to offer something like that, BMW as well,” Zetsche said.

However, he stated that there are currently no confirmed plans for a car to run squarely against the Q6, despite some rumours suggesting that was the case.

“We know that Audi announced the Q6 electric car. That is a fact. I was asked if there’s a possibility that we would come up with a similar product – we said that is a possibility, we didn’t confirm anything.

“If this possibility would turn in to reality, then obviously the confirmed Audi Q6 would be a competitor,” he said.




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