DETROIT — With new vehicles such as the AMG 53 lineup that debuted at the Detroit auto show, Mercedes-Benz is poised to boost its Mercedes-AMG mix above the 10 percent of U.S. sales reached in 2017.
Indeed, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler is eyeing a 20 percent mix for the high-performance subbrand — the level AMG achieved last year in Canada.
"Based on that, we have more opportunity," Exler said at the auto show this month.
Increasing AMG to 20 percent of U.S. sales isn't possible in one year — and maybe not at all, he said. "But I know there is potential with AMG to go above what we have been."
Mercedes sold 33,904 AMG vehicles in 2017 in the U.S., up 46 percent from the year before. The big jump happened as Mercedes finished rolling out its AMG 43 midrange performance line. Nine of 40 AMG models on sale in the U.S. are 43s.
In 2018, Mercedes will launch the AMG 53 line with variants of the redesigned CLS, E-class coupe and E-class convertible powered by a new electrified 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. The 43s and 53s have enhanced performance elements but aren't as powerful as AMG's traditional models with hand-built engines. The 53s will reach U.S. dealerships late this year.
With the 53s on the way, full availability for the year for 43s and more new traditional models coming in 2018, AMG sales should increase this year, Exler said.
AMG's expanding portfolio "gives the customer more choice in a segment where we're really doing well," he said. "It's just been a huge success for us. I'm absolutely bullish."