Mercedes-AMG cars gain currency in India, smaller towns drive sales – BUSINESS

AMG, the performance car range from Mercedes-Benz, is finding traction in India with a new segment of buyers preferring these powerful, sporty luxury cars to satisfy their thrill of driving pleasure.

Mercedes-Benz India which introduced the AMG sub-brand in 2010, has cumulatively sold more than 500 cars and is now gearing up to roll out new models.

“The growth of AMG in India is very encouraging. Here, Mercedes-AMG remains the clear market leader with more than 50% market share in the luxury performance motoring segment,” said Roland Folger, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.

‘More models expected’

Currently, the AMG portfolio comprises 9 products. While the pure performance-oriented AMG 63 and AMG 45 are popular, the AMG 43 has strongly been driving AMG growth. Soon, two more models — AMG GT R and AMG GT Roadster — will be introduced.

The brand is supported by five exclusive dealerships called AMG Performance Centres located in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.

The company has decided to add two more centres in Chennai and Kochi shortly, as demand from tier-II and tier-III cities was growing, the company said.

Mr. Folger said portfolio expansion of AMGs has led to the creation of a new set of customers.

‘Smaller towns open up’

While successful people who otherwise might have opted for well-known sports car brands have preferred the AMG range for its ‘look, character and colours’, young businessmen from from smaller cities have also been seen going for this brand.

Mumbai’s Dinesh Thakkar (55), MD of Angel Broking owns two AMGs — the AMG GT and the G 63. He is set to buy a third one. This is besides the regular Mercedes-Benz cars in his fleet.

“Sports cars always fascinated me,” Mr. Thakkar said. “Recently, when I wanted to reignite my forgotten passion, I came across [the] AMG. It had all the features — good speed, sound and safety. I opted for AMG GT as I wanted to be different in the market.

“I wanted people to take notice when I took the car out. I was overwhelmed by its thundering sound and speed. I found unmatched killer looks in this car,” Mr. Thakkar said.

Mercedes-Benz said the AMG 43 portfolio has opened up a customer base beyond metro markets into tier-II and tier-III markets. “We can attribute 15% of total annual AMG sales to non-metro markets,” Mr. Folger said.

AMG has also opened up the brand to a wider customer base and this has helped in pulling down the average age of ownership.

“The average AMG customer age is 30 years, which is seven years lesser than that of an average Mercedes-Benz buyer,” he said.

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