India's largest luxury car maker Mercedes Benz on Friday launched a high-performance AMG version of its bestselling E class sedan in India at Rs 1.5 crore. The E63 AMG is the company's fourth launch in India in 2018 and expands the AMG portfolio to 12 cars.
Mercedes registered a near 25 per cent growth in sales in the first three months of this calendar year at 4556 units. It was the company's best-ever performance in a quarter. Mercedes has been the largest selling luxury car brand in India since 2015. In calendar year 2017, it held the top spot in the luxury car market in the country with sales of 15,300 units followed by BMW at 9,800 units and Audi at 7,876 units.
Globally, Mercedes sold over 1.33 lakh units of its AMG cars but its contribution in India is minimal- little over 400 units. But Mercedes claims it plays a big role in creating a sporty image for the brand. Till a few years back rivals like the BMW and Audi used to regularly take potshots at the German car maker for its perception as a preferred choice for the fathers and uncles.
"Our AMG strategy in India has been very well received. From the track to the tarmac, to tricky terrains, we broke lap records, introduced never seen before variants and drove past our competitors in some style," said Roland Folger, managing director and CEO, Mercedes Benz India. "We believe a key factor to grab the attention of young Indians is not only for a Mercedes Benz but also for an AMG. The average AMG customer age in India is 30 years, which is a notable 7 years lesser than that of an average Mercedes-Benz buyer."
The E63 AMG is equipped with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that generates 612 hp of power and 850 NM of torque. It is the quick even by AMG standards and can sprint from 0-100 kph in 3.4 seconds. For perspective, the iconic two-seater Porsche 911 Carrera does the same in 4.4 seconds.
The overall luxury car market in India grew by nearly 17 per cent in 2017, the fastest in five years at just under 40,000 units. The growth came after a bad year in 2016 when industry volumes had declined for the first time ever due to the ban on diesel engines at the start of the year.