European Regulators Could Slam the Brakes on Numerous AMG Models
The fun police, also known as European regulators, are causing sleepless nights for that continent’s automobile manufacturers, all thanks to their imposition of ultra-stringent Euro 6 emissions standards.
You’ve already read about Mazda cutting back on 2.0-liter MX-5 sales in the UK to lessen the brand’s fleetwide emissions output. Now, Mercedes-Benz’s performance arm might have to cull a great number of AMG-badged vehicles to keep itself in good standing.
According to a report in the Financial Times (via Autocar), Mercedes-AMG might have to drop three-quarters of its European lineup in order to conform to the rigid environmental mandate, which come into effect in 2020.
While the automaker disputes this claim, the AMG lineup does contain a generous amount of gas-derived horsepower, to put it mildly, and with that extra oomph comes increased tailpipe emissions. Bernstein analyst Max Warburton told the paper that such a lineup reduction would be a “catastrophe for profitability,” estimating that Mercedes-Benz would potentially face a fine of $21 billion in 2021 if it continued selling the same product mix as last year.
The AMG division is a cash cow for M-B, especially in light of falling Western auto sales. With an engine swap and an upgrading of brakes and suspension, the automaker can turn a regular model into a much higher-margin product aimed at a whole new clientele. It’s a recipe that’s worked for years.
Given the harshness of the new regulations, the automaker could find itself paring down its conventional lineup, with FT singling out the new 3.0-liter straight six as a potentially threatened powerplant, at least when it comes to broad availability.
In response to the report, a brand spokesman told Autocar, “Mercedes-AMG is a significant strategic pillar for Mercedes-Benz cars with a clear powertrain strategy for the future.”
Much has been made of Mercedes-AMG’s recent turn towards electrification, but one wonders whether the division’s quest to seek horsepower gains through hybrid drivetrains came too late to save the company from short-term financial pain.
“Starting with the first plug-in hybrids coming to the market in 2020 and followed by a new model range equipped with electrified powertrains, Mercedes-AMG will also contribute to lowering the average fleet emission of Mercedes-Benz Cars,” the spokesman said.
[Image: Daimler AG]
Jeff S on Dec 21, 2019
@gasser--Agree get the old vehicles off the road with a Cash for Clunkers especially any vehicle older than 10 years old unless it is a historical or collectors car which you can get special license plates and insurance for and should not be used as daily drivers. No amount of regulation to clean the air is going to work if there are old poorly maintained vehicles on the road used as daily drivers.
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