Mercedes is reportedly planning to spin-off a new, all-electric sub-brand for its electric vehicle efforts, similar to BMW’s i-brand. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Mercedes is an automaker with a history full of great names, which is exactly why they shouldn’t try anything new.
I get why BMW named its electric vehicle lineup with the “i-” moniker. Well, it was probably the success of a small tech company called Apple. There was even a moment where Apple was actually touring the i-brand facilities with rumored interest in developing autonomous systems for transportation in the near future. That fell through, though.
But now Mercedes is doing the same thing—creating a separate brand with its own name and likely a distinct, futuristic style (I am guessing) for its future electric automotive efforts. According to Bloomberg, the new brand will be introduced with a lineup of two electric SUVs or crossovers and two electric sedans.
Reportedly, Mercedes doesn’t have a name for the new brand yet, but I’d argue that they, in fact, do already have a name! Perhaps multiple options!
You see, Mercedes has a bunch of great people, names and brands associated with them. Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with sturdy German engineered cars, and AMG is synonymous with performance. Maybach just sounds drenched in class and luxury. Because of all of this, I’m convinced that Mercedes can’t best what they already have in naming a new electric brand something different—which is why they shouldn’t.
My crazy idea? Well since most of the “Mercedes” brand is just referred to as Mercedes or Mercedes-AMG nowadays, the “Benz” name has slightly fallen to the wayside. So why not split Benz off from Mercedes and call the new electric car brand, well, just Benz?
This is brilliant, when you really think about it. If Mercedes names its EVs under the “Benz” name, you bring “Mercedes Benz” back with an entirely new meaning. Each is its own brand with a distinct difference, but all of the cars are still a Mercedes.
Mercedes sort of shot itself in the foot all those decades ago when it started calling things an “E-Class.” Modern simpletons would easily associate the “E” with “electricity,” but alas that can’t happen.
But I think Benz is still a good, strong-sounding name. On top of that, it’s only four letters, and any modern branding expert will tell you less letters for new things is always better. It also has a “z” in it, which is inherently cool.
So how about it Mercedes? Karl and Bertha Benz deserve their rightful place as automotive innovators, so why not honor them with the next-largest automotive innovation second only to when they slapped a petrol engine on a horse carriage—electric cars?
We get to call some of your cars “Mercedes Benz,” and your branding and marketing departments get a short and simple word that’s just as cool-sounding as “Tesla.”
But no, you’ll probably go with something else. Something that’s been overthought by chairmen in committees and youth focus groups, and we’ll end up with the Mercedes lektric or eevee or e-v-wgn or Elek and I’ll just have to hate it.