Everyone’s always talking about concepts like “plant-based” or “knowledge-based” (A.I.) nowadays.

How about “reality-based”?  Here’s one company who thought they had it all worked out, until reality stepped up and said, “Nazzo fast, Guido” (actually, “Noch langsamer, Fritz” ):

Mercedes-Benz has backtracked on their plan to transition to selling only electric vehicles after 2030, with company officials saying that “market conditions” have not allowed that to happen.

Ah, those pesky “market conditions”, wherein customers tell their supplier companies to take a hike after said corporations make unbelievably stupid decisions (Bud Lite, coff coff).

The background:

The company said it would commit $47 billion to electrifying its fleet, with CEO and board chair Ola Källenius saying, “We are convinced, we can do it with strong profitability, and we believe that focus on electrical is the right way to build a successful future and to enhance the value of Mercedes Benz.”

In other words:  we’ve bought into the whole Green New Deal, hook, line and sinker, and we’ll just force customers to adapt to the New World Order by giving them no option to do otherwise.

And then came Q4 ’23 results.  Oh, and a few other things which might have made potential (and existing) customers reevaluate their options:

The business model change comes after multiple highly-publicized instances of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles catching on fire and causing massive damage.

Yeah.  Imagine that.

My question is quite simple:  other car companies have also declared their intention to be all-electric by x date (e.g. Jaguar, Volvo).  Does anyone think they’re going to have a change of heart too?

Or will they just do the Lemming Thing and plunge off the reality-based cliff, secure in their own virtuousness?


  1. ……. or they never actually intended to electrify everything but Press releases and empty promises to Politicians are cheaper than actually committing massive amounts of design and engineering talent to actually doing it. There may have been some effort “just in case”, but it was never going to happen in just 6 years. It’s just too massive a change to the production lines.

  2. I think many companies are going to back away from their commitment to the glorified golf carts. I believe many will just do it quietly.

    It might be time to read Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto.

  3. I doubt if Jaguar will be able to. They are a niche brand outside of England and they committed brand suicide in the US when they imploded their dealer network and 90% of their service staff jumped ship (and they ain’t coming back) after the all EV announcement. I off-loaded my 2018 F-Pace and 2019 XJ50 a few months ago. Sorry, not sorry, I didn’t leave Jaguar, they left me.

  4. Strictly opining on this, but I’m betting that in the fever swamps of Woke Executive-Land they suffer the hubris of thinking that because THEY, can squander millions of (Dollars, Pounds, Euro’s) and bully employees into doing something, that they can ALSO make people elect to buy such a product. Then they’re shocked that they can’t, so they induce some .gov body to compel the ignorant unwashed to comply.

    Its an old idea.

  5. Think about what you need to change on a production line to go from ICE to EV. The entire Powertrain portion is completely different. You can’t just modify the existing line which is the way model changes are normally done. ICE Engines are normally assembled on a separate line – sometimes in a different facility. That all goes away and needs to be completely replaced. the rest of the powertrain is also different. Are you also changing from a ” unibody ” to ‘Body on a Skateboard” setup? Next the body and interior lines also need to be extensively changed. These major changes will take 3 or 4 years just to plan and pilot and will probably be best done in a Brand new factory because there is not enough time to implement the needed change during the normal 1 – 2 month model change shutdowns.

    1. …and all that for a product that was never really feasible, practically speaking, for a market that wasn’t going to dump a boatload of money on an unproven product.

      If someone tried this kind of shit at Proctor & Gamble or Kimberly-Clark, they’d be laughed out of the building. But because it’s MERCEDES and THEREFORE IMPRESSIVE, no doubt MB thought they could pull it off.

      Fucking idiots.

  6. There was a big fire at Luton Airport last year which, while not started by an EV, was aggravated by them and caused a lot of insurers to re-evaluate risks. That means raised premiums. And car park operators have also re-evaluated their risks because EVs are so much heavier. Any reduction in parking spaces will reduce the income from and thus the profitability of the car park.

    1. I’m waiting on the first EV fire in a multi-story car park. It’ll weaken the concrete, like we’ve seen with the highway bridges, and then there will be a cascading pancake failure of the structure.

      Then as you noted, who pays? Also, how many are injured or killed.

  7. As the EU, their main market, had planned to ban petrol and diesel car sales by 2030, the announcement to market only EVs by 2030 was the smart thing for them to do.
    That EU plan has gone out the window because even the kleptocrats in Brussels realised it was utterly unattainable, so now Merc and others don’t have to cancel their petrol based product lines just yet.

    I don’t place blame with Merc here, they were in a major pickle trying to change their entire product strategy and now must be relieved that they have more time.

  8. Ja! Und lasst uns in Russland einmarschieren! Was kann da uns moeglich schief gehen?

    Sigh. Germans gotta Germinate.

    1. Germany is weirdly just about the only EU country NOT wanting to send their armies into Ukraine and Russia, triggering WW3 instantly.

      1. That may not be on moral grounds, it might be because they simply can’t.

  9. I have sat through more quarterly meetings than I prefer to recall, with the new CEO (or misguided old one) grasping at straws while spouting every “efficiency” and “market forward” tired line bravo sierra…which usually was 6-8 months ahead of a layoff. Luckily as a consultant the effect on me was minimal, but oftentimes I’d stand up and leave mid-prophecy speech, collect my things, and go to lunch while the “do more with less” rah-rah was continuing.

    Mercedes-Benz will either die or take years to recover from their woke idiocy.

  10. Read recently where Toyota said that they do not want to jump into the vortex of all electric. Since they are already so massive, other automakers continuing the insanity would end with Toyota owning the world.

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