AMG, which was founded 46 years ago, is the oldest of these three high-performance subbrands. Mercedes acquired a 51 percent stake in AMG in 1999 and took full ownership in 2005.
Kaellenius said the dream for AMG is simple: "We want to be the most desirable performance brand in the world."
And AMG also wants to gain an even more prominent position within the Mercedes family.
"We want to be the driving force in the performance segment," he said. "We want to be innovators. And that is our role in terms of the technical relationship with Mercedes."
AMG, which accounts for about 2 percent of Mercedes' and Smart's global sales, aims to grow. During the subbrand's 45th anniversary celebration last year, the company laid out an ambitious strategy for the next five years: Increase unit sales to 30,000 by 2017, from about 20,000 last year. To meet the goal AMG will expand to 30 models by its 50th anniversary, from 22 last year.
"These eight additional models did not have an AMG predecessor," Kaellenius said.
Of the three subbrands, AMG's range is the widest. Only Mercedes' B class and GLK lack AMG derivatives. AMG also has the largest staff of the three, but the 1,200-person work force includes independent design and r&d departments.
"We can act as an entrepreneurial, fast-moving small company, but at the same time we have all the technology and the support [from Daimler] that we need to be successful," Kaellenius said.
The United States is AMG's biggest market, followed by Western Europe and Japan, but relatively new markets such as China have grown fast in the last 10 years.
"China grew from nothing and is already in our top five markets," Kaellenius said. "Russia is seeing a true explosion, driven by the SUVs."