European Regulators Could Slam the Brakes on Numerous AMG Models

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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]

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  • Jeff S 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.

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Dec 21, 2019

      Ahem. I resent the implication that a vehicle is poorly maintained based solely on its age. I see the HC and CO figures each year from my 24-year-old truck and they are *well* below the limits. (Plus my annual miles on that vehicle are incredibly low.)

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Dec 22, 2019

    Western Europe sends all the used cars to Eastern Europe, where the economy is much lower and they will keep that Audi which failed TUV going for a long end result here will be very small.

  • Arthur Dailey "Check out the used car market." Late model, low mileage vehicles are in many instance selling for more than you would pay if you put a deposit on a new vehicle. The reason? Supply and demand. You can take the used vehicle home now. Whereas you might have to wait up to 24 months for your new vehicle.
  • VoGhost Matt, you say 'overpriced', but don't you mean 'underpriced'? It's when a manufacturer underprices, that dealers add their markup. If they were overpriced, the dealers would discount.
  • Bobbysirhan I'm surprised by the particular Porsches to make the list, and also by the Cadillac. Most of all, I'm shocked that the 2-door Mini Cooper is on here. I didn't even know they still made them, let alone that anyone was still buying them.
  • Ajla I assume the CT5 is on the list due to the Blackwing variant.It would be interesting to take the incentives that existed in October 2019 and include that in an analysis like this as well. The thing about the used market is that while you'll pay less in total dollars, in some cases the percentage increase from 2019 is even worse than with new cars. Buying a Saturn Relay for $6k isn't exactly a winning move.
  • VoGhost Reminder: dealers exist to line the pockets of millionaires who contribute to local politicians.