German magazine auto motor und sport conducted an interview with Philipp Schiemer, the new head of Mercedes-AMG about the future strategy of the brand, the hybrid performance versions, the future of the V8 engine and the new SL.
Photo: auto motor und sport, Mercedes
Philipp Schiemer has been working for Daimler since 1987, during which time he held various management positions in Brazil and Germany. During this period he was also head of management for A-Class and head of marketing for Mercedes-Benz cars. Since 2013, he has held the position of CEO of Mercedes Brazil.
AMG’s portfolio is wider than ever from A, GLA, GLB to GLS and S. Plus Hypercar One. Is it possible to maintain the portfolio in these times?
Why not? The expansion of the portfolio was a success. AMG sold over 130,000 units last year, which is sensational. And it also helps to the image of the brand. AMG is no longer a tuner but a separate brand that is also a competitor to Porsche. The expansion of the range did not dilute the AMG image but strengthened it. But as Ola Kallenius said, we need to focus and invest in hybrid and electric technology. To this end, we will analyze whether all current models will have a successor. But this constant rethinking of the range is a normal process.
Do you plan a fully electric sports car?
Our job is to develop the sportiest versions based on Mercedes models. We take a basic Mercedes model and develop an AMG performance version. This is true for both hybrid performance versions and EQ models. In fact, the first full electric model from AMG will be the AMG EQS next year. But we are also working on the PHEV version of the AMG GT 4 door.
Will you continue to differentiate yourself technically from Mercedes, despite increasing cost pressure? Does the customer even notice something like that?
Of course. Our clients are also real fans. Whoever buys an AMG model is very convinced about its qualities and expects a clear sporty position being willing to pay for it. That is why we will continue to make the necessary technical effort, but we will also use the synergy with the Mercedes brand, as we do for example in the case of assistance systems.
The next Mercedes SL is developed by AMG and is based on the AMG GT platform. Is there no problem of differentiation?
We’ll see if the Mercedes SL and AMG GT will actually be on the same platform. But it is certain that the new SL, not only due to the softtop roof, will be oriented towards the traditional qualities of its illustrious predecessor. It will be more sporty but without approaching the GT. The AMG GT still maintains a more consistent dynamic and sporty orientation. The future SL that will have AMG included in its name will not be as extreme.
We heard a rumor that the V8 AMG engine will disappear from the C-Class. Where else will it be available?
We also heard of the rumors of the C-Class … You don’t have to worry about the V8. It is at the core of the brand and is extremely popular not only in Germany, but above all in our main market, the USA. Therefore: the V8 remains, for example in our first E-Performance hybrid model.