Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 6

6

* N O V E M B E R 2 017

Canada is Mercedes-Benz's No. 3
global market for the performance label

ON TRACK WITH

AMG
By STEVE MERTL

VA N C O U V E R C O R R E S P O N D E N T

WHEN IT COMES TO AMG,
Mercedes-Benz's performance
division, Canada punches above
its weight - well above it - in
terms of sales.
Canada is AMG's third-largest market behind the United
States and Germany, and ahead
of China. And in product mixrate, it's No. 1, with one in four
Mercedes sold here badged an
AMG, says David Sherrard,
Mercedes Canada's national
product manager.
The Germany-based automaker is headed for another Canadian
sales record and AMG has outperformed, too. AMG sales this year
through October were 8,689, an
increase of 64 per cent from the
same period last year and more
than the record 6,723 in all of 2016.
Two factors have been key in
expanding AMG volume, said
Sherrard. The introduction of
4Matic all-wheel-drive systems
- essential for many Canadian
customers - to the AMG lineup a few years ago boosted models such as the CLS 63 and E 63

Eighteen Mercedes
dealerships are designated
AMG performance centres,
though any Canadian store
can sell the brand.
(PHOTO: STEVE MERTL)

HOW AMG BEGAN
AMG is celebrating its 50th
anniversary. Begun by two
ex-Mercedes-Benz engineers in
1967 to build racing engines, it
evolved into a highly regarded
independent tuner shop before
Mercedes absorbed it in 2005 and
expanded both production and
model range.
Arriving in Canada in the
mid-1990s with the C36, AMG
now encompasses almost two
dozen models from about $50,000
to almost $200,000. Eighteen
Mercedes dealerships are designated AMG performance centres,
though any of the 59 Canadian
stores can sell the vehicles.
AMG will up the ante sharply in late 2019 with Project One,
a hybrid with more than 1,000
horsepower and priced close to $5
million. Well-heeled Canadians

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CANADA WON'T BACK AWAY FROM THE TABLE,
NO MATTER HOW BAD IT GETS

RIDE-SHARING
FIGHT
QUEBEC, MANITOBA AND B.C. ALL GRAPPLE
WITH UBER, LYFT LAWS

About 200 AMG customers and
prospects go through the one-day
AMG Performance Tour event, held at
Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit,
north of Victoria. ( P H O T O : S T E V E M E R T L )

sedans that were at peak life-cycle volumes and headed for
decline.
"It helped us actually have
a higher volume base and keep
them stable," he said.
The other factor was the introduction the C 43 sedan and coupe
in roughly the $60,000 range, a
segment in which AMG really
wasn't competing, said Sherrard.

TRENDING
STORIES

are lining up hoping to be selected for one of the handful of cars
allocated to this market.
AMG delivered almost 100,000
vehicles worldwide in 2016, about
five per cent of
total Mercedes
production, so
the badge's relative exclusivity has diminished somewhat.
But Sherrard
said that doesn't
mean the brand's
prestige is dilutDavid
ed.
Sherrard,
"It's more
Mercedes
ensuring that the
Canada's
AMG character
national
is a part of every
product
car, regardless of
manager.
the price point,"
he said "It's not
so much a dilution of the exclusivity as it is an expansion of
that offering."

PERFORMANCE TOUR
Automotive News Canada
spoke with Sherrard at a recent
AMG Performance Tour event
at Vancouver Island Motorsport
Circuit, north of Victoria. The
program is an important element
of the brand's success in Canada.
About 200 AMG customers, intenders and prospects go
through the one-day program
each year in groups of 18 to 24.
Under supervision of driving
instructors, they can sample
AMG models on racetrack and
off-road courses.
Unlike the Mercedes-Benz
Driving Academy, the AMG program is free to participants.
They're nominated by dealers,
who bear most of the cost. The
events take place at Canadian as
well as U.S. venues, though U.S.
dealers don't have a comparable
program.
Sherrard would not reveal the
conversion rate for prospects who
attend the program.
"It's one of the many tools
that we've used to be able to
bring more people into the
brand," he said. - ANC

MITSUBISHI RECALLS VEHICLES AGAIN
OVER FAULTY TAKATA AIRBAGS

MITSUBISHI CANADA HAS RECALLED 9,552 LANCERS FOR
a second time to replace faulty Takata front passenger airbag
inflators.
The cars were recalled in 2015 and inflators were replaced
with identical Takata parts.
The recall covers Lancer and Lancer Evolution models from
2004 through 2006.

LINAMAR VIES FOR A PIECE OF $950M
IN 'SUPLECLUSTER' TECHNOLOGY MONEY

A GOVERNMENT SHORTLIST OF NINE "SUPERCLUSTER"
proposals includes one that involves auto parts maker Linamar
Corp.
An advanced manufacturing
supercluster involving the MaRS
Discovery District in Toronto,
Linamar, Maple Leaf Foods Inc. and
the University of Waterloo wants
to drive collaboration between the
technology and manufacturing sec- ( F I L E P H O T O )
tors.
The group could qualify for a piece of a $950-million federal
fund to spur business development.
"Superclusters are job-creating regions with strong economies, like Silicon Valley, and our government intends to create
five of them in Canada," Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep
Bains said.
There is no date yet on when the five will be announced.

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT PITCHES TESLA
ON COUNTRY'S R&D CAPABILITIES

FEDERAL TRANSPORT MINISTER MARC GARNEAU AND
two senators travelled to Silicon
Valley in mid-October to meet officials
from Tesla.
"What I did bring up is that
Canada had quite a bit to offer in
terms of engineering and research,"
Garneau said of the visit. "With
( P H O T O : G R E G L AY S O N )
our capability that is established in
Canada, particularly in Ontario and in Quebec, there is the possibility that Canada could contribute if Tesla made the decision that it
wanted to expand its manufacturing."

BMW'S YOUTH-FOCUSED X2 IS INSPIRED
BY RALLY RACING AND ARRIVES IN MARCH

BMW CANADA HOPES ITS NEW X2 WILL APPEAL TO
active, younger car buyers looking for a uniquely individual utility
vehicle. It launches in March.
The X2 will enter the booming
market for compact utility vehicles
designed for urban environments.
Customers can also choose M
Sport or M Sport X models.
"This model variant is inspired ( P H O T O : B M W )
by rally racing," Head of Design
BMW M Automobiles Marcus Syring said of the M Sport X. "It
embodies our interpretation of a new, young 'M' dynamic and
offers a nuanced manifestation of sportiness."

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - November 2017

Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 1
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 2
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 3
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 4
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 5
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 6
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 7
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 8
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 9
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Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 11
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 12
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Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 17
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 18
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Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 27
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Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 31
Automotive News Canada - November 2017 - 32
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