Mercedes-Benz Australia has pegged back the waiting list for its A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG four-cylinder turbo twins that, at its peak, extended into 2016.
Supply constraints on AMG’s entry models, which also includes the new GLA45 crossover due here in October this year, are not limited to Australia. The company worldwide is very much a victim of its own success on that front.
But the good news for buyers — both confirmed and prospective — is that the Affalterbach-based company with the ‘one person, one engine’ philosophy has found the means to build more, and a figurative boatload of them is slated for Australia.
All this means that if you order a 245kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged, AWD A45 AMG hatch or mechanically identical CLA45 AMG sedan now, you should get your hands on it by the end of 2015 at the latest.
The rampant early success of both models, launched in August 2013 at $74,900 plus on road costs and October last year from $86,900 respectively, took even its maker’s local arm by surprise, according to Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific CEO Horst von Sanden.
“Initial demand got totally out of control and surprised us. Some were over-promised and we did under-deliver,” said von Sanden, adding that those early buyers caught out had been given an Apple iPad as an apology.
When discussing the revised wait times, von Sanden said “We’ll be able to surprise a few customers and bring their expected delivery time forwards. They’ve [the factory] worked very hard to increase production capacity”.
Despite the long wait — almost unprecedented at this price point — von Sanden said some, though not all, customers had been willing to wait.
“Yes they really were,” he answered. “But of course, you can only stretch the friendship so far and there’s different levels of patience in people, and some would categorically say ‘no, if I have to wait that long no’.
“But some said ‘that’s what it is, I don’t like it, but I'll sign up and hopefully you can do something.”
Mercedes is offering buyers faced with a wait the option of buying another vehicle in the interim and attaching a guaranteed (and presumably quite reasonable) trade-in price when the time arrives to take delivery of their AMG.
Australia is among the largest AMG markets in world, especially on a per capita basis. As with many other brands, Mercedes-Benz internationally considers Australia a performance market. The company is on track for at least 2000 AMG deliveries in Australia this year.
The first half of next year will see the Australian launch of the next-generation of its best-seller, the C63 AMG, with a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine. To tide it over, Mercedes-Benz’s local arm has acquired a good stockpile of the manic Edition 507 Coupe.