'Realistically, this is to get people in the queue. Once we announce pricing and specification, normally that's when we take deposits.'
Mercedes-Benz Australia is getting ready to take orders for the upcoming EQC electric vehicle... sort of.
The company is reporting strong demand for its Audi e-tron and BMW iX3 rival, which doesn't actually touch down until late in 2019. It won't be accepting deposits, but a registration system allowing customers to get in line will go live in December.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the opening of Australia's first ultra-fast electric vehicle charge station in Euroa, Jerry Stamoulis, Mercedes-Benz Australia communications boss, said the company has been overwhelmed with the response to its first mainstream pure-electric vehicle.
"The demand was high since we showed the car for the first time in September, and for that reason we're opening up a reservation website in December, so that people can get into the queue," he said. Mercedes is still nailing down the details of the registration system, apparently.
"Realistically, this is to get people in the queue. Once we announce pricing and specification, normally that's when we take deposits."
"Right now we have so much interest, which would certainly exceed the volume of vehicles we're getting, so we want to get a better understanding of who's interested – but also, not to disappoint people who want to get into an EQC as early as possible," he added.
Launched in Sweden during September, the EQC offers more than 450km of range (NEDC, not WLTP) from an 80kWh battery pack. First showcased in EQC400 form, the car makes 300kW and 765Nm, and hits 100km/h in just 5.1 seconds.
Built alongside the internal-combustion GLC on a variation of the same platform, EQC production can, according to Stamoulis, be tailored to meet demand without creating huge problems at the factory.
"We're fortunate with the way the EQC is being produced, which is on the GLC production line, the factory can be nimble," he explained.
"If there are opportunities to increase our volume expectations, we can do that."
Pricing for the EQC hasn't been revealed yet, but we're expecting it to cost somewhere in the vicinity of $120,000 when it touches down.