Looking to grow its market share among performance buyers, Mercedes-AMG cars will be built in China for the first time in the automaker's history. Parent-company Daimler said it will build cars there by the end of this year.
Automotive News (subscription required) reported last week on the German automaker's plans. The first Chinese-built AMG model will be the long-wheelbase version of the A35 sedan exclusive to that country, called the A35 L. It's based on the long-wheelbase A-Class sedan unveiled in early 2018 and already on sale in China, where it is manufactured exclusively, hence AMG's decision to build the A35 version there.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L
All AMG models have so far been exported from Germany to China. The previous-generation A45 hatchback in particular has been a roaring success, especially with younger buyers. The new A35 L will be built in a factory near Beijing where Mercedes-AMG operates its first exclusive dealership. Per the report, plans for a second AMG-exclusive dealer in Shanghai are underway.
AMG finds itself in an intriguing situation in China. The sub-brand performs worse in the country compared to more established markets like Germany and the United States, but China remains a top-five market due to its vast size. Naturally, Mercedes-AMG sees huge potential to sell younger buyers performance-oriented cars and increase market share in the world's largest auto market.
Underscoring the focus on China will be a new AMG experience center at the Zhejiang Circuit in Shaoxing. There, AMG owners can take their cars off of congested Chinese roads and tap into their performance.
2020 Mercedes-AMG A35
Even though the brand sees great potential, there aren't any plans to build other long-wheelbase AMG models in China. The brand recognizes there's a certain "tradition" to AMG: German engineering from Affalterbach.
Aside from AMG, the report said Daimler also has no plans to build Mercedes-Maybach models in China. Still, the cars remain very popular with wealthy Chinese individuals.