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Mercedes-AMG sales expected to slip in 2018

Big bruiser: Despite the rising popularity of SUVs, the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 (left) is not expected to outsell the C63 (below) as customers prioritise sharper handling and dynamics over practicality.

Large AMG product rollout not enough to stem 12 per cent sales slide

Mercedes-AMG logo10 Dec 2018

MERCEDES-AMG’S year-end local sales are expected to slide by almost 12 per cent to about 6538 units due to limited availability of key models such as the C63 sedan and wagon, as the staggered rollout of the updated C-Class range pushes out to 2019.

Speaking to GoAuto last week, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (MBAP) head of media relations and product communications Jerry Stamoulis said AMG sales were currently accounting for about 20 per cent of the German brand’s overall sales, or about 5993 units out of 29,967 year to date.

“We might see a small increase in the (traditional) percentage (of around 14 per cent) because we’ve had some challenges with our traditional Mercedes-Benz models, where stock hasn’t been as easy to get,” he said.

“The figures maybe a little different by the end of the year because we’ve had C43 come in and available – C63 won’t make it in before the end of the year – but AMG stock hasn’t been an issue.

 
“Volume-wise, not sure yet, percentage-wise, it might happen (increase) unnaturally.”
 
Mercedes has expanded its AMG range substantially this year with the introduction of the GLC63 mid-size SUV, E53 mild hybrid, G63 off-roader, C43, CLS53, and S63 and S64 coupes.
 
However, the C-Class-based 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 variants remain the most popular, according to Mr Stamoulis, despite the GLC rivalling the Mercedes mid-sizer in outright volume year to date (5369 compared to 5790 units).
 
“If you look at a C63 (coupe) on its own … it’s still, I think, in our top-three sellers,” Mr Stamoulis said. “It was outselling A45 for a very long time.
 
“If you look at C-Class and you look at GLC, I think there’s a battle between the two of them. But if you look at GLC63 and C63 coupe, even though the GLC63 just set the fastest lap around the Nurburging, sportscar enthusiasts probably lean more towards a C63 coupe.
 
“It’s not a discussion about SUV versus sedan, it’s about sports performance. At this stage, a C63 coupe should, depending on the conditions of course, be a little sportier than an SUV.”
 
Similar to the C-Class, Mercedes’ small-car platform is also reaching the end of its lifecycle meaning the A45 hatchback, CLA45 sedan and GLA45 SUV are winding down production.
 
Though the new-generation CLA and GLA are yet to be revealed, the new A-Class that went on sale in August will be topped by a flagship A45 version to be launched around 2020.
 
A less-hardcore A35 that is expected to be priced around $60,000 to compete against Audi’s S3 and BMW’s M140i will also launch late next year, while overseas reports indicate Mercedes is also planning a B-Class-based B35.
 
If the rumours prove to be true, Mercedes will have an AMG variant of every one of its current passenger car, SUV and sportscar model lines.
 
Mercedes-AMG also revealed a new top-spec GT dubbed Pro at this year’s Los Angeles motor show, which is yet to be confirmed for an Australian introduction.

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