Mercedes Turns In-House Tuner AMG Into New Brand

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
mercedes turns in house tuner amg into new brand

AMG is the world's largest purveyor of $100k+ automobiles. Daimler says the average Mercedes AMG buyer has an annual household income of $348,854. So… T he Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Mercedes has decided to semi-transform its in-house tuner AMG into a semi-separate automotive demi-brand. Announced at the launch of the new C63 AMG, the spin-off is an attempt to raise the profile of AMG as a super-premium. Uh, that's it. No wait; performance brand. Starting in the second quarter of this year, seven pilot AMG Performance Centers will begin offering sales and service for the blistering-fast, mondo depreciating uber-Benzs. The goal: 30 such centers in the U.S. by year's end. The new dealer network– attached to the old dealer network– will offer a number of marketing features aimed at luring buyers away from BMW's M, Lexus' F, and Cadillac's V-line. We're talking a traveling roadshow, a new website and an ad campaign. While the seriously rich are still… seriously rich, Daimler is launching the AMG demi-brand straight into the teeth of the worst automotive market for over a decade. Good luck with that.

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  • William442 William442 on Mar 11, 2008

    My daily driver has been a 1999 C43 for almost nine years.The car is addictive. If I ever have to replace it, I will find the money even if I have to stop eating.

  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Mar 11, 2008

    AMG used to actually be something special when it was a seperate company along the lines of Ruf and Alpina until the mid 1990s I believe. Today AMG is a JOKE! An AMG Benz is no longer a "real" high-end speciality tuner vehicle anymore, it is nothing more than a silly package; some larger rims, a tacky body kit, and the corporate MB H.P. Engine. Today MB/AMG simply stuffs that same over-sized engine into every car with the AMG badge on it. Like a whore with no shame MB actually had the nerve to sell an AMG Mini-Van, and two AMG SUVs! Yeap, AMG is for wannabes today that do not know any better!

  • Driving course Driving course on Mar 11, 2008

    Looks like a bit of PR management... Distancing MB from the uber polluting AMG will allow the parent company to look greener when you look across it's product line in 12 months time.

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Mar 15, 2008

    Hi William442, I've been a 1998 C43 owner for 5 1/2 years. It was a pretty good deal as a used vehicle, although, honestly I'll never buy an automatic-transmission car again: not even counting the $6k transmission rebuild at 60k miles (a lot of early C43's ate the transmissions), I had the sometimes-rough shift into second gear, the low stall speed of the torque converter ruining the 0 to 10 MPH times, the bad fuel mileage, the unpredictable shifting, and--finally--the boredom and loss of control. Thanks for letting me let tell you how I really feel! :-) WhatDoIKnow1, you're right: the vast majority of AMG owners don't care too much about the finer points of driving. However, that's the same way with *EVERY* make. I called the local BMW dealer about a 335i sedan stick test drive a few months ago... "we'll get back to you" was the answer. A week later I got a call back: out of the 20 335i sedans, they finally had a stick! Sad. The C43 is the old w202 body style and is, therefore, the last of an era; the C43 is vastly different from the other w202 vehicles.