The smash success of its four-cylinder turbo compact range is driving Mercedes-Benz AMG to a record total of about 2500 sales in Australia in 2014 despite its traditional biggest-seller being depleted and between generations.
The projected figure will easily outstrip last year’s record total of 1649. In fact, Mercedes-AMG has already moved more than 2000 units out the door this year. This greatly outstrips BMW M and Audi’s S, R and RS Sport ranges respectively — both of which are also on an upward march.
Perhaps more impressive though is the proportion of total Mercedes-Benz sales that are AMG models here. The company is on track to sell about 30,000 passenger cars, SUVs and commercials this year, meaning the Affalterbach tuning house supplies about 8.5 per cent of the total.
This figure means AMG’s market penetration in Australia is second only to the comparatively tiny New Zealand market, and in raw terms Australia is about the fifth largest market globally for AMG cars by raw volume. Considering the relative size of the market, this is an unusual figure.
This pair — the hatch is the more popular choice — are joined this week by the GLA45 AMG crossover with the same engine, projected to give both a red-hot run for their money in the sales race once supply arrives.
Both the A45 and CLA45 have been subject to 12-month-plus wait-times as the factory struggles to keep up. This is liberating now, with Australia netting extra allocation to reduce the waiting list to more like six to seven months. The GLA is currently about the same, albeit before its market launch.
This year’s figure is about 25 per cent of the total AMG sales tally since inception here, with the 10,000th model due to arrive in November. Of these, about one-third have been the V8-powered C63 AMG.
This year the equation has been different, with all but the C63 coupe discontinued in July this year as the new version is readied. The next-generation 4.0-litre turbo C63 won’t be here until around the middle of 2015.
Already, Mercedes holds hundreds of Australian pre-orders on this car, and in time the C63 will return to the top of the pile above the usurping A45 which, alongside the CLA45, GLA45 and forthcoming CLA45 Shooting Brake, attract about 75 per cent first-time Mercedes customers.
Shortly after the C63 arrives, the AMG GT coupe rival to the Porsche 911 will arrive priced at about $250K. Benz has already banked more than 100 orders on this model.
At the same time, so-called ‘heavy metal’ such as the CLS and S-Class AMGs are also in demand, with the forthcoming S63 AMG Coupe launching in February (and previewed in Melbourne this week) already netting 50 orders.