Since 2000, annual minivan sales have dropped from over 1.25 million to less than 500,000 in 2018 — thanks largely to the space and aesthetics offered by slightly more expensive SUVs. So, while a number of companies are looking to move past the stigma of the minivan, one company is looking to embrace and possibly own it.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled their MPV concept vehicle — an all-electric minivan that looks to brings luxury to the soccer-mom market. The van features room for up to eight passengers, 201 horsepower, a top speed of 99 mph, and a range of 249 miles on a full charge.
Featuring polished metal and rose gold accents on interior handles and controls, as well as blue Nappa leather on the second-row bucket and third-row bench seats, Mercedes feels that the MPV offers an option beyond hauling the kids to school. Higher-end applications could include a shuttle for hotels and other service businesses.
The unique creature comforts might not be the only thing that sets the vehicle apart from the competition. Chrysler and Volkswagen hope to begin production on battery-powered minivans next year. So, depending on their timing, the MPV could be introduced as the world’s first electric minivan.
From a time-to-market perspective, the biggest advantage for Mercedes is that the company uses a common platform for all of its electric vehicles. Basically, production becomes a simplified process of properly wrapping a body around the battery, motors, and wheels.
Mercedes hasn’t revealed pricing yet, but the MPV is anticipated to come in around $60,000, depending on select features.
Image Credit: IEN