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AMG targets 6000 Aussie sales next year

Raw power: More AMG models are on the way, but the C63 sedan is expected to continue its strong sales results.

Big growth forecasted as AMG confirms E63, GLC63 onslaught

Mercedes-AMG logo10 May 2016

By DANIEL DeGASPERI

MERCEDES-BENZ Australia will target 6000 AMG sales next year thanks to a fresh performance model onslaught that will drive volume 2000 units beyond 2015 levels and 1000 more than the company’s forecasted figure for this year.

The rapid growth of products from Mercedes' sports division has been due to several AMG models launched this year and the release of five new models set for next year including the C43 and E43 sedan and wagons, the GLC43 SUV, and the hotter GLC63 and E63 that have not yet been unveiled.

“We could do 6000 units (of AMG),” announced Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific senior manager public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy at the media drive of the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe in Sydney this week.

“It is an ambitious target, but when you have the product and add them all up, you’ve got the compacts (A45, CLA45, GLA45), you’ve got four versions of C63 (sedan, Estate, coupe, cabriolet), you’ll have an E43 and E63, you’ll have C43, GLC43, GLC63 and S63 Cabriolet.

“Six thousand will be a lot harder to get to than from 4000 to 5000 units (between 2014 and 2015), but in a perfect storm, barring economic issues, it will be achievable.”

With the C63 Coupe and Cabriolet on stream this year – and Mr McCarthy insisted they will add volume rather than take from the existing sedan and Estate – AMG is now focused on the booming performance SUV market.

Of the forthcoming GLC43 and GLC63 performance SUVs, Mr McCarthy enthused that, “The two of them combined will be category killers.”“It will be a ripper thing,” he said of the GLC63 that is widely expected to make its global debut at the Paris motor show in September before “definitely” arriving Down Under in the following calendar year.

It is expected to use the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine from the C63 range, but teamed with the company’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

“I don’t know what sort of volume it (GLC63) will do, but it will easily do two or three times C63 Estate,” Mr McCarthy continued, and noted that around five C63 Estates and 80 C63 sedans are averaged per month.

“I’m thinking 10, 15, 20 per month or even more,” Mr McCarthy said. But he stopped short of predicting a GLC63 would take sales from the C63 range or even outsell it.

He added that although the regular Mercedes-Benz GLC has surpassed the C-Class in the sales race so far this year, the mid-size SUV range has “not substantially” taken from the latter mid-size sedan and Estate line-up.

Likewise the GLC63 is not expected to poach buyers from C63.

“It (GLC63) will bring a lot more people in,” Mr McCarthy insisted.

“SUVs are such a popular part of the market and truly sporty SUVs are pretty thin on the ground. The AMG brand won’t be hurt (when) you’ve seen things like the (BMW) X6 M that is doing numbers that are pretty impressive.”

He also expected sales of the E63 to pick up substantially when the new model changeover occurs next year.

“E63 has come off (in sales) because people know there is a new model,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Historically when you have a new generation of car you will get a lot more people. If you already own an E63, you’re going to say I’ll wait for the next generation.

“When it comes to Australia there will be a big uplift in sales.”

He confirmed the next E63 will be engineered for all-wheel drive, for the first time in Australia, and it will score a power lift compared with the outgoing 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 model. Mercedes-AMG has confirmed globally the next E63 will use a more powerful version of the C63’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

However Mr McCarthy also revealed that rear-wheel-drive was preserved for the C63 because the company’s technology at the time could not allow an all-wheel drive system to perform a “drift”. But what about the imminently all-paw E63?“The new generation all-wheel drive in E63, it will drift, the (all-wheel drive) technology wasn’t at the point when C63 was introduced to do it,” he said.

Australian Mercedes-AMG volume last year made up around 13 per cent of total Mercedes-Benz sales, one of the highest ratios in the world compared with about 5.0 per cent for markets such as the United States and Japan.

“We’re currently three or four (in the world) in raw numbers,” Mr McCarthy added.

“We get the attention we need because of the market penetration and this year we will probably be 6.0-to-6.5 per cent of AMG volume worldwide.

“In percentage terms our growth is healthy, from 4000 to 5000 cars (2014 versus 2015) that’s 25 per cent. There are other markets growing at that level but with lower numbers. As a stand-alone brand, AMG makes a lot more business sense than many other brands.”

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