Mercedes-Benz USA Boss: “If You’re a Tesla Buyer, You Have To Have Multiple Cars”


We Should Perhaps Remind Mercedes-Benz That Tesla Powers Its B-Class Electric Drive

We Should Perhaps Remind Mercedes-Benz That Tesla Powers Its B-Class Electric Drive

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Note to Mercedes-Benz – Your parent company Daimler owns stock in Tesla Motors and considers Tesla to be “one of the best investments” it has ever made.

So, it’s probably wise to not knock on Tesla Motors then.

That note apparently didn’t make its way to Mercedes-Benz USA boss Steve Cannon, who had a field day ripping Tesla at the 2014 New York Auto Show.

Forbes quotes Cannon as saying that Tesla has “no network” and “little shops that don’t have service capacity.”  There’s some truth to those two statements.

However, Cannon then ventures somewhere he shouldn’t have:

“Folks are buying a Tesla now because they’re kind of cool, but if you’re a Tesla buyer, you have to have multiple cars.

“With Mercedes, you have a whole network. You’ve got no worries.”

Cannon continues:

“Tesla is great, but you’ve got plenty of well-established brands that mean luxury, like Porsche or Mercedes-Benz, and how long do you think we’re going to wait and let Tesla be out there alone?  So, good job, Tesla, but will they be able to maintain that with the others of us out in the market? That remains to be seen.”

But wait, there’s more.  Mercedes-Benz is close to launching its Tesla-powered B-Class Electric Drive, which is indeed a pure electric vehicle.  Nevertheless, Cannon says this:

“…the potential of fully electric vehicles for the rest of my life and a good portion of the rest of your life will be limited.”

So, where do we end up?  Cannon bashes Tesla Motors, despite Daimler’s partnership with the electric automaker.  And then he writes off pure electric vehicles, despite Mercedes-Benz just gearing up for the US launch of its first-ever BEV.

Not wise.

Source: Forbes

Categories: Mercedes, Tesla


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47 Comments on "Mercedes-Benz USA Boss: “If You’re a Tesla Buyer, You Have To Have Multiple Cars”"

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Seriously, is that the best argument he has?

If I were Zetsche, given MB B EV and Smart EV, I would fire this guy after this phrase ““…the potential of fully electric vehicles for the rest of my life and a good portion of the rest of your life will be limited.””

Tesla Model S is better than any car MB has ever made. MB has been making pure junk since the 60s. What is wrong with this guy? Crack maybe?

If you’re speaking drive train, yes. If you’re speaking fit & finish or interior quality, not so much.

“…the potential of fully electric vehicles for the rest of my life and a good portion of the rest of your life will be limited.”

Wow.. Steve looks pretty good for a 95 year old.


Tesla will make cars in China in 3 to 4 years. What does he think of that?

The Model S is stealing the S-Class’s lunch money. That’s a likely reason for Cannon’s sore bottom.

I wonder if Elon will comment on this…

This is hilarious… apparently Steve Cannon forgot that Tesla cars do not require almost any regular service. Only thing that needs service is the warranty repairs but we will see the need in near future when Tesla S cars gets more mileage.

My guess is that as Tesla was inexperienced car manufacturer, they have big redundancy so there probably won’t be significant amounts of warranty repairs required.

So far we’ve had very minimal repairs, done the same day or next business day. The loaners have been great fun to drive. 🙂

That’s not *entirely* true. A few Tesla owners have had nothing but trouble.

But that’s true of any automaker and/or car and/or product. Since Tesla isn’t screwing up too badly though, there hasn’t been a lot of this kind of experience.

I guess that you have hard time to understand what “significant amounts” means in practice… but people typically are this way that they grap on singular events and fail to see the big picture and therefore they have poor understanding what is relevant.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Yeah, I’d Jiu-Jitsu that s–t.. “Our cars don’t NEED the sort of constant maintenance and handholding that Mercs do, and our concierge service and premium loaners make what little maintenance you DO need a whole lot better than dealing with a busy profit-center organization.”

Steve is simply a salesman – he has no ‘vision’ and obviously little understanding of the bigger picture. I imagine Elon would have a quiet chuckle over his moronic comments.

And….some of you guys wonder why I am not all glowey and superlative about the German automaker’s efforts towards electrification…


I’ve been commenting for a few days now about Daimler’s above comments said to the press at the New York Auto Show. GM also made some questionable statements about Tesla last week also.

This is why I even doubt Nissan or ANY company who’se bread-and-butter is ICE CUVs, SUVs, trucks and luxury cars will EVER be able to successfully market an electric car.
In the words of my grandmother – If they promote electric cars they’d be “cutting off their foot to spite their leg”. Or, one cannot serve two masters.

This is why Tesla seems to be the “Great White Hope” for EVs – since they only make electric cars and that is what they do.

Nissan has both and balances it pretty well.

Hmmm…? Where’s that fully electric version of the Nissan GT-R, then? OK, so… Maybe a hybrid version of it? No?

The headline should read “If You’re a B-Class Electric Drive Owner, You Have To Have Multiple Cars”, because you’re stuck if you want to go more than 100 miles from home. The same holds true for every electric car OTHER than Tesla. The Model S is the only one I’d be confident enough in owning as my only car.

Maybe Cannon needs to share a coffee with Audi’s X-Quattro boss, Franciscus van Meel?

I think it is another case where Musk might better be served, letting some lieutenant lay down the smack.

Mr. Cannon is 100% correct. Tesla owners will need multiple vehicles– another Tesla.

Teslas are like potato chips. You can’t have just one. 😉

That is correct… Quite many more wealthy Tesla owners are probably eagerly waiting next generation AWD Roadster for casual driving.

Maybe they can run them on relays…? New York City apartment… Southampton homestead… Vermont B&B… and back home, James.

Daimler hedged (some portion?) of its equity exposure to Tesla last December. From a mathematical perspective, the question is what level of net exposure remains. Instead of selling the stock outright, perhaps it was simply a tax-efficient way to obtain the same goal of de-facto getting out of the position, at least at this price level. In any case, Mercedes USA and every Mercedes dealer do compete with Tesla, so I am not surprised that they finally start arguing their case. That’s what competitors usually do.

Hmmm, I own a Model S and several other cars: a pickup truck to haul stuff and my son drives the other car (a Prius). I haven’t driven the Prius since I got the Tesla 10 months ago and the truck only to move things that wouldn’t fit in a Mercedes either.

But his point is an important one to keep in mind when trying to get people to move to an EV. Range anxiety still looms large. Visible public chargers and increased range help.

I think those are fair comments. My wife and I kept our ICE car only because we both need to drive to work, not because an EV can’t fulfill all of our needs.

We’ve driven all over Ontario in our Model S and haven’t been put to walking even once. The only time we use the Hyundai Accent (yes, an Accent) is when my wife drives to work. Otherwise it never moves – the EV does everything we need.

And isn’t this precisely the argument why Teslas should NOT be sold at dealerships? Can you imagine encountering such a moron as your sales ‘specialist’? – We have a Tesla and a Leaf. These two ALL ELECTRIC vehicles cover ALL of our commute and long range trip needs.


Maybe he’s just still sore about Mercedes sweeping the #1 and #2 spots on the King of Depreciation competition for the ten most-depreciated cars of the past ten years:

Wow, Tesla fans sure do get angry over little things. Perhaps they should “act like they’ve been there before” rather than rant so much.

I have an ICE backup for our model S. I start the backup once a week and drive it a short bit once a month to keep it in running order. I haven’t bought gas in six months.

A backup is a useful idea, but any old vehicle will serve.

Cannon should “get out of the building” more. The Tesla *is* our distance car, with several 1,400 mile, border to border trips on the odometer. I’ve never driven a better touring car. Quiet, comfortable and no fuel bill.

The Lexus and BMW sit in the driveway unused. They”ll go on Autotrader soon.

Yeah, any person with any ~$100K car probably has multiple cars. Duh.

Yes, but the quote is “if you’re a Tesla buyer, you have to have multiple cars.” That is a statement of need, not of want as you suggest. Clearly many people who buy a ~$100k car can afford other cars just because they want them. Like earlier comments above, those cars tend to get used very little after the Tesla arrives.

I dumped my MB E class convertible for a Tesla and I’m not going back to ICE. You right we have other car and is ICE because model X is taking too long but I’ll get one in 2 years.

It’s like someone in 1994 saying “the Internet has limited potential” People like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have the vision to change the landscape. It takes a while for others to realize that it’s their own view that is limited.

I think you guys should be nice to the MB USA boss. It’s obvious that he has some uncurable disease since he is going to die within the next couple of years.

This smacks of executive washroom group think to me. Where well accepted, but factually light ideas are expressed. One problem experts in an industry seem to have is that they are just so convinced that their status as people who really know what’s going on in that industry, can’t see the roaring freight train of electrification of the vehicle industry, because they did not see it coming, it can’t be real.
It is true though that it will take decades, I believe, but such a large scale change will take time.

Ya Tesla is just “kind of cool”

And if you have a Smart ED or Mercedes Ugly class you have to have multiple cars…

his argument/

I would call that the Tesla effect. When once you go amps you never go back. Maybe it needs work. But it is a well documented belief that those who purchase a Tesla, or even other electric cars for that matter, swear they will never buy another ice vehicle. So fleets, vehicles on the road, turnover about every 10 years.
Developing statistical models of those people who will buy ev’s, and as the Tesla effect continues, it only gets stronger, could describe ball park figures of how long and what percentage and at what pace that fleet changes over to ev’s.

Oh, Steve CANNON. I thought you guys were trashing Steve CANYON, my childhood TV hero.

Steve Canyon was more of a Bob Lutz-type jet pilot guy. He’d NEVER trash EV’s, even as he’s jetting off Commies in his delta-wing fighter!

(I had one of Steve Canyon helmets, too!)

Which web page is this statement taken from?

“Harald Kroeger is responsible for development of Electrics and Electronics of all Mercedes-Benz cars. In addition, as a vice president within Mercedes, he is the head of development for electric vehicles, electric motors, high voltage batteries and power electronics. Before this assignment, Harald was head of quality management for Mercedes-Benz, managing quality in product design, product development, manufacturing, sales and after sales, as well as overall supplier quality management.”

Co-development is very common in the Auto world. IMO I wouldn’t get over excited about who owns who, who is selling what or which brand is more tied to which nation. Mostly they are all in it together. I sometimes wonder if there is more rivalry between divisions of the same manufacturer than between 2 separate manufacturers.

Eating Öko Müsli makes you dumb.

Obviously, the combination of Tesla affecting Mercedes USA sales and Daimler’s mostly tepid entry into EV’s results in statements like this. Heck, many of the world’s major auto companies have some executive making similar diminutive statements about EV’s.

You’ll note that Tesla never restricted sales to CARB states like Daimler wil with the B-Class ED (yes, I know that they “eventually” will sell nationwide, but that won’t be a serious effort).

Heh. They seem to be getting Tesla’s Model S mixed up with *every other electric car*, including their own.

I think they’d be more surprised than anyone else here to learn that most Model Ses actually have a highway range of around 300 miles.

Oh well. Their ignorance is Tesla’s bliss.

Also almost all EV critics fail to understand how fast actually it is to recharge a long range electric vehicle at Tesla Supercharging station… as Tesla’s range improves, also the charging speed improved.

Tesla should be able to uprgare supercharging stations to 150–200 kW by 2018. This would already be seriously fast that it is hard to have a good coffee break!