[May 26, 2014]


(Pakistan & Gulf Economist Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) As its sales gather pace in India, Mercedes Benz is lining up exclusive zones for its high-performance and ultra-luxurious AMG range of vehicles. The company opened the first 'performance center' for the AMG brand in Delhi, and will follow this up with similar exclusive zones in Bangalore and Mumbai over the next two days. AMGs are high-performance vehicles and sport hand-crafted engines that are made at the company's Affalterbach plant in Germany. Each AMG engine builder stamps the engine they produce with an engraved plaque depicting their signature.

"We sold 32,000 AMG cars globally last year at a growth of 30%. The markets look robust this year too and we expect a similar surge," Mario Spitzner, Director (Branding and Marketing) for Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said. The company has AMG performance centers in 27 countries at 375 locations. The biggest markets for the brand are US, Germany, UK and Japan just as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations pick pace.

"India is a very promising market and people here are aware and keen to have high-performance cars." Rivals of Mercedes also offer their high-performance car versions in India and these include the 'M' Series by BMW and the 'S' and 'RS' line of cars by Audi. Mercedes drove in the ML 63 SUV AMG version in the market, priced at Rs 1.49 crore (ex-showroom Delhi). It now has six models under the AMG portfolio in the country, and these include the C63 and E63 sedans, G63 SUV, and SLK55 roadster.

With a wider portfolio and exclusive sales zones, it expects volumes of the range to nearly double in the current calender year. "We have around 200 AMGs in India over the last few years. This year, we are aiming to double the sales as compared to the units sold last year," Mercedes-Benz India MD and CEO Eberhard Kern said.

The strong performance at the F1 circuit this year will also have a positive effect on the AMG brand. "The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team is already making its strong presence felt by winning pole positions. This is very positive for the brand," Kern said. Globally, the German car major sells around 30 variants of cars under the AMG portfolio. It started retailing AMG cars in India in 2008.

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