“We will reduce complexity in many areas… which drastically changes logistics,” said Markus Schäfer, head of development at Mercedes parent Daimler.
Customers are offered preset packages when configuring their cars based on regional preferences, simplifying production compared to build-to-order models.
Mercedes announced a move to stop 75 percent of investments in top models and the best-selling segment of the C-Class and E-Class models.
“The willingness to pay is there,” said Schäfer. “Many, many customers are willing to pay the extra price for luxury.”
Reducing the cost of batteries for electric cars remains a top priority, Schäfer added.
“I would like to halve the size and weight of batteries in cars,” said Schäfer, referring to energy efficiency and cost.
Taking more control over the supply chain through direct supply contracts and being more strategic in material selection could also reduce costs, he said, while forecasting that cobalt, a common battery material, is likely to be phased out. .
Rising prices for cobalt, mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, forces battery makers to explore cobalt-free technology
Mercedes said earlier this week it was the first auto customer of Sila Nanotechnologies’ silicon anode chemistry.