MERCEDES-AMG is to expand its network of AMG Performance Centres across Australia, and will display an MV Agusta motorcycle in every one of them. But customers will have to go elsewhere if they want to actually buy one.
Mercedes-Benz Australia managing director Horst Von Sanden said it will expand from just one AMG Performance Centre currently (in Brisbane) to 11 nationally by the end of this year.
Each will have an MV Agusta motorcycle on display after AMG bought a 25 percent stake in the brand in 2013.
MV Agusta, which has 15 dealers across Australia, should gain considerable exposure from the tie-up.
“We feel that we definitely have to ride on the AMG brand,” MV Agusta Asia Pacific manager Judah Sangaran told Wheels. “They have a very strong brand, and this is the opportunity we’re taking.”
“[It’s a] complete collaboration. Not to make the AMG brand empower the MV Agusta brand, but to market and focus on MV Agusta, and to show the synergy that we have.”
MV August expects Australian sales to increase four-fold in 2015, but declined to disclose the brand's 2014 volume.
AMG is on target to sell 3500 cars in 2015, and the planned expansion of the Performance Centre network means that number is likely to grow in future years.
“It is a special AMG showroom concept developed by AMG in Germany,” von Sanden said. “It basically gives our AMG customers a very special experience at the point of sale. Special material design; specially qualified sales consultants…”
Von Sanden told us that the collaboration and positioning of MV Agusta’s motorcycles in AMG Performance Centres is not about volume, though.
“How many [sales]? I don’t know. But everything counts and it’s more than that. It’s an experience.
“We’re passionate about high performance and beautiful design, and so are they, so the dealership experience is just a little bit richer with something else, a piece of art, in the showroom.”
That means there will be no MV Agusta and AMG package deals, for now.
“We wouldn’t want an AMG customer to buy an AMG at a motorbike dealership," von Sanden said, "because we believe the customer needs the full AMG experience and explanation and [to] talk to the right people. So we’ll leave it to the [MV Agusta] experts to sell [motorbikes], and we want them to leave the selling of an AMG to us.”
Both brands would not rule out more involvement in dealerships as the partnership blossoms.
“It’s very early days,” said von Sanden. “What comes of this partnership in 10 years’ time, who knows?”
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