|Not a member? Sign up now!|
As the first of its kind in the South Island, the Mercedes-AMG Performance Centre was recently launched in Christchurch. AMG Performance Centres are a global initiative, giving dedicated space to Mercedes-AMG product, with motorsport-themed display areas, and customers are met by specialist staff trained at AMG headquarters in Affalterbach. The Christchurch Centre is the 14th in Australasia.
Mercedes-Benz Cars New Zealand general manager Ben Giffin says the opening of the AMG performance centre in the South Island is perfectly placed to capitalise on the rapidly expanding portfolio of Mercedes-AMG vehicles. “Our South Island customers have always had an incredible passion for Mercedes-AMG vehicles,” says Giffin.
“Bringing the Mercedes-AMG brand experience to the South Island will give customers and performance enthusiasts alike more direct access to everything it stands for. The new performance centre highlights the strength of the passion of our retailer Armstrong Prestige and our customers for the Mercedes-AMG brand,” he says.
AMG performance centres are an immersive experience which are being rolled out around the world and are also characterised by high quality materials, motorsport theming and the use of hallmark AMG colours to create a memorable experience.
Dennis Mehan, AMG boss for Australia and NZ, was on hand, and said, "Over the past two years we've opened 14 AMG Performance Centres, out of 500 globally, across Australia and NZ. "Today, AMG produces over 130,000 cars per annum and has 1500 employees. There are plenty more exciting cars to come - we're only just seeing the beginning.
"The pace of technological change is unbelievable; you'll see that shortly with a car called Project One. We'll be the first manufacturer ever to put a Formula 1 engine into a road car. There are eight of these cars coming Down Under, at an on-road cost just under the five-million-dollar mark. "We could have sold more - I'll tell you that right now.
"We are the number one market in the world for AMG. One in every five Mercedes cars sold in Australia and NZ is an AMG; that's double the next-best market. We're the fifth-largest market in the world for AMG and the 12th largest for Mercedes-Benz. Fifty per cent of Mercedes-Benz cars sold in Australia carry an AMG package. That's better than any other market in the world... by double.
With 7000-odd sales in Australia and NZ last year, we're selling five per cent of the total production of AMG.
"We also outsell Porsche. There is only one other market in the world where AMG outsells Porsche as a standalone brand and that's Japan. We currently have 23,000-plus customers on our database. We see a lot of technology that's currently in F1 coming down to these [road] cars. In fact, keep a look out for the upcoming '53' range. The 48-volt technology that's in these cars called EQ Boost is straight out of last year's F1 car. So don't think that F1 technology doesn't reach us every day."