The year 2013 was the most successful year ever in the history of Mercedes-AMG. With around 32 200 sports cars and performance models sold, the Mercedes-Benz’s performance brand reached a new sales record.
“We are looking back on the company’s strongest year ever,” said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “This extraordinary growth has exceeded even our own expectations. It shows once again that with our 'AMG Performance 50' growth strategy, we’re on the right track. It’s a strategy we will continue to build on.”
In its three biggest markets US, Germany and UK, the Affalterbach-based company recorded strong demand in 2013, driven by new products and the extension of its distribution network. Among the factors driving this growth was the broad introduction of the all-wheel drive 4MATIC, newly developed by AMG with focus on performance aspects: the facelifts of the E 63 AMG as well as the CLS 63 AMG are now available with AMG all-wheel drive 4MATIC technology and as powerful S-Model. There was also increasing demand for Mercedes-AMG’s SUV models and the new compact cars A 45 AMG and CLA 45 AMG. The product offensive is rounded off by the recently introduced S 63 AMG, which is facing highest demands.
Through the product offensive and the introduction of the compact CLA 45 AMG in 2013, Mercedes-AMG was able to steadily increase its sales in the main market USA: With a growth of around 20 percent, the sales volume was considerably above the previous year’s level. AMG’s two main European markets, Germany (up 10%) and the UK (up 40%) posted strong sales, despite the overall market weakness in the EU. Both markets exceeded their 2013 sales targets.
“In South Africa, Mercedes-AMG showed a 28% increase over 2012. This phenomenal increase in AMG sales can be attributed to the introduction of our new A 45 AMG and CLA 45 AMG models. With a maximum output of 265 kW and up to 450 Nm of torque, this AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder engine in the world,” says Selvin Govender, Divisional Manager, Product & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
Along with other main markets Mercedes-AMG also posted significant growth in Japan, China, Canada, Russia and Brazil. In the growth market of China, 2013 sales were up around a quarter on the previous year, although the new entry-level A 45 AMG and CLA 45 AMG models, as well as the new S 63 AMG 4MATIC, will not be available there this year.
Growth potential from increased number of model variations
This dynamic growth of the performance brand has been made possible by the expansion of the product range and entering attractive new segments. With the sporty A 45 AMG, the four-door coupe CLA 45 AMG and the GLA 45 AMG, Mercedes-AMG is offering three new entry-level models. Aimed at customers in their thirties to mid-forties, these models are an attempt by AMG to reach out to new target groups. All three models are equipped with AMG all-wheel drive 4MATIC technology and the world’s most powerful four-cylinder production engine.
At the upper ends of the vehicle range, new AMG models of the S-Class and E-Class were introduced in 2013 as well as a new CLS 63 AMG. The E-Class and the CLS 63 AMG are also available as ultra-powerful S-Model and, for the first time, with all-wheel drive. The new vehicles and technology packages have been a hit right from the start: Around 90 percent of buyers of the new E 63 AMGchose AMG all-wheel drive 4MATIC technology. The SLS AMG super sports car has also racked up impressive sales: Since the first model in this series rolled off the production line in the spring of 2010, over 10 000 SLS AMGs have been sold. Later this year, AMG plans to enter a new segment with a sports car it has fully developed itself.
Extending the distribution network
The AMG Performance Centers are a central plank of the AMG Performance 50 growth strategy. These sales points, which have been part of the Mercedes-Benz distribution network since 2008, create optimal market reach. The centers have their own distinct branding and focus on AMG performance brand products and concepts, as well as on the individualisation options that form part of the designo range. At the end of the year, Mercedes-AMG had a total of 375 AMG performance centers in 27 countries. Further sites are being planned in order to build on the excellent customer service that AMG customers expect.
“Locally, we have five AMG Performance Centres; two in Johannesburg servicing the Gauteng area, and one each in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Our AMG Performance Centres provide customers with a first-class AMG experience through its specialised and trained sales and service staff,” concludes Govender.
Innovation and development skills at the Affalterbach plant
In 2013 the company again proved itself to be the Daimler Group’s standard-bearer when it comes to technological innovation. AMGengineers at the Affalterbach site cover every aspect of the vehicle development process and are involved in the development processes of Mercedes-Benz at the earliest possible stage. For example, in addition to the new 4MATIC drive system all four-wheel-drive models launched in 2013 have axle components developed of Mercedes-AMG as well as completely new front axles. The four-wheel-drive models underline the claim of leadership in the respective segment in interaction with the specific suspension. Apart from that, the company also develops its own sports cars. As the first vehicle to be fully developed by Mercedes-AMG, the SLS AMG is proof of the competence and passion that exist at the company in Affalterbach. And last year, AMG was also responsible for bringing the world’s most powerful electric super sports car to market, the SLS AMG coupe Electric Drive. The all-electric SLS AMG combines innovations in material combination of aluminium and CRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic) and the newly developed powerful battery and inherits an outstanding driving dynamic thanks to AMG Torque Dynamics. In addition, the lightweight construction strategy known as AMG Lightweight Performance was applied throughout the development of the electric SLS AMG and the new S-Class. The new S63 AMG weighs up to 100 kilograms less than its predecessor.
Did you know?
- AMG (Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach) was founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, and from the very outset achieved numerous successes in the field of motorsport.
- Today, the former two-man company employs a workforce of more than 1200 at its plant in Affalterbach, and over the past 47 years has become the technological spearhead and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG.
- The AMG brand promise of ‘Driving Performance’ stands for state-of-the-art technology and pure driving excitement in all four business divisions. Alongside the development of high-performance vehicles, AMG’s second business division, Sport Packages & Models, provides an entry into the world of AMG.
- AMG’s performance specialists were closely involved in the development of the A 250 Sport and CLA 250 Sport. The sport models “engineered by AMG” were in high demand in 2013 as well and were handed over to more than 12 000 customers. Special customer specifications are carried out in the third business division, the AMG Performance Studio, where individualised AMG vehicles are developed and produced in strictly limited editions.
- The fourth business division, Driving Academy & Motorsports, has also achieved considerable success. Last year, the AMG Driving Academy hosted over 11 000 participants worldwide and was able to enhance its customer offering with new events in the United Arab Emirates and Poland.
And of course the performance brand has remained true to its motor racing roots, chalking up impressive wins on international circuits with the SLS AMG GT3.
Shirle Greig (Mercedes-Benz South Africa)