The History of AMG Mercedes-Benz

AMG Mercedes-Benz | Enthusiasts

Hans-Werner Aufrecht (A) and his partner Erhard Melcher (M) founded AMG in 1967, and Aufrecht’s birthplace of Grossaspach (G) supplied the third letter in the company name.

43 Years of High-Performance Mercedes-Benz Cars
(2010)

From its beginnings over 40 years ago as an independent racing and tuning firm for Mercedes cars, Mercedes-AMG has grown into a supplier of exclusive high-performance cars, now with some 600 employees, an extensive model range and customers around the world.

SL55 AMG

Now an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz family, Mercedes-AMG has become synonymous with factory-developed high-performance vehicles. Far more than a tuner or marketing division, Mercedes-AMG is a self-contained entity responsible for all aspects of its vehicles, from development and testing to marketing. Some aspects of vehicle production are shared with Mercedes-Benz facilities.

Hans-Werner Aufrecht (A) and his partner Erhard Melcher (M) founded AMG in 1967, and Aufrecht’s birthplace of Grossaspach (G) supplied the third letter in the company name. Both had been employees of Mercedes-Benz and officially described themselves as “engineering, design and testing specialists in the development of racing engines.” The fledgling firm initially based itself in an old mill in Burgstall (near Affalterbach).

Editor’s Note: We also have an article on The Early History of Mercedes-Benz AMG here. It includes a good story, which is said to be Friedrick Aufrecht’s story. Friedrick is the brother of AMG co-founder, Hans-Werner.

First Racing Victory in 1971

AMG Mercedes-Benz History - 300SELIn its early years, AMG concentrated on building racing cars based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE sedan and competing in European touring car races. The first racing success came in 1971, when a Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3, modified by AMG with a 6.9-liter engine, took a surprise class victory in the 24-hour race at Spa in Belgium, finishing in second place overall. The 1971 success proved to be the springboard for an enviable record on the track that has continued to this day and has formed a cornerstone of the AMG philosophy (see AMG racing history at end of this section).

International Clientele Fuels Growth

AMG’s success spread well beyond international motorsports. In the 1970s, the company began to offer high-performance tuning and individualization for Mercedes customers in Europe and other markets. The transfer of technology from motorsports into production cars already formed part of the company’s philosophy.

The company built its exclusive reputation by developing impressive technology and first-class quality on the back of its involvement in racing. AMG soon became the premiere Mercedes-Benz “tuner” in the world. Through the 1970s and 1980s, AMG developed a number of special high-performance models based on production Mercedes sedans and coupes. These vehicles incorporated high-power modified Mercedes engines and race-proven modifications to the chassis and brakes, AMG light-alloy wheels and wider tires, resulting in fully developed, well-rounded high performance packages.

Strong demand for performance Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the late 1970s led to a steady increase in the number of orders received by AMG. The company outgrew its facility in Burgstall and moved to Affalterbach in 1978. In 1985, AMG opened its second factory and hired its 100th employee. AMG was now attracting customers from all over the world, including building one-of-a-kind vehicles for international clients. This experience strengthened AMG’s reputation in the world of high-performance vehicles as builders of top-performance Mercedes-Benz cars.

As an industry pioneer and trendsetter, AMG became committed to achieving and retaining a position as a world leader in terms of technology, design, and sales. Though AMG cars did not become available in the U.S. market until 1995 when the C36 AMG debuted in the U.S. market, word of AMG vehicles had already made its way into the U.S. enthusiast press. Most famous perhaps was “The Hammer” – a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300E powered by a 360-hp 5.6-liter V8.

The signing of the cooperation agreement with DaimlerChrysler AG (then Daimler-Benz AG) in 1990 marked a turning point for AMG. Under the terms of the agreement, AMG products could be sold at Mercedes-Benz dealers in overseas markets, significantly improving customer acceptance. Further expansion led to the opening of a third facility in 1990, and an increase in the workforce to 400 employees.

AMG Comes to America

When the C-Class succeeded the 190 series in 1993, AMG unveiled the first vehicle jointly developed and born out of the agreement – the Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG, backed by a full Mercedes-Benz warranty and service organization. Initial demand for this 282-horsepower, six-cylinder screamer was limited by production to just under 1,000 cars over a three-year period.

In the U.S., the C36 AMG was followed in 1998 by the C43 AMG, the first V8-powered C-Class model. The 306-hp 4.3-liter V8 could rocket the C43 from 0-60 mph in just six seconds. Customers clamored for more AMG models, so Mercedes-Benz and AMG responded with the E55 AMG, a 349-hp powerhouse that blended super-car performance with four-door Mercedes comfort. Fueled by this customer interest, AMG developed an array of top performance Mercedes-Benz models from the growing palette of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. AMG’s brand success culminated during 1998 when DaimlerChrysler acquired a majority ownership in the company.

U.S. customer interest in AMG models increased steadily, with sales of 7,500 AMG models in 2001. During 2002, the strategy of offering an AMG model as the top performance Mercedes-Benz in every model line was achieved with the introduction of the SL55 AMG – the first SL roadster AMG offered in the U.S. The source of the SL55 AMG’s power, a new supercharged 5.5-liter Kompressor V8 was also installed in revised versions of the S55 AMG and CL55 AMG launched in late 2002. For 2004, AMG debuted the new SLK55, C55, and G55 as well as the AMG V12 models, the SL65 and CL65, the most powerful AMG models to date.

The United States is now the largest market in the world for AMG vehicles, with an over 40 percent share. The latest generation of AMG models available in the U.S. includes:

  • C55 AMG sedan with 362-hp 5.5-liter V8
  • E55 AMG sedan with 469-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8
  • S55 AMG sedan with 493-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8
  • S65 AMG sedan with 604-hp twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12
  • SL55 AMG roadster with 493-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8
  • SL65 AMG roadster with 604-hp twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12
  • SLK55 AMG roadster with 355-hp 5.5-liter V8
  • CLK55 AMG cabriolet with 362-hp 5.5-liter V8
  • CL55 AMG coupe with 493-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8
  • CL65 AMG coupe with 604-hp twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12
  • G55 AMG SUV with 469-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8
  • CLS55 AMG coupe with 469-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8

With such a diverse model offering and the most powerful models in its history, AMG is poised to deliver Mercedes-Benz high performance and driving enjoyment to enthusiasts.

Mercedes-AMG Today

On January 1, 1999, H.W. Aufrecht sold a majority shareholding in AMG, and the company was incorporated into DaimlerChrysler AG (DCAG). This move allowed the newly founded Mercedes-AMG to benefit to an even greater extent from DCAG’s resources and global presence. The highly specialized subsidiary has overall responsibility for the engine, transmission, chassis, brakes, aerodynamics, interior, design and sales and marketing of AMG-badged cars.

Growth of the Mercedes-AMG product line has been supported by the opening of new production, development and showroom buildings at its Affalterbach plant. The engine factory, showroom and two development buildings, built and operational in 2003, have more than doubled the space of the facility from 199,000 to 426,000 square feet. Employment at Mercedes-AMG currently numbers over 600.

One Man, One Engine

SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz Engine | AMG MarketThe centerpiece of the recent expansion is the new engine factory, which produces 100 engines a day for the entire range of Mercedes-AMG vehicles. Work takes place on three floors across a total area of 107,000 square feet, and about 45 highly qualified master technicians work in the new facility.

Mercedes-AMG follows a philosophy of “one man, one engine.” This means that a single technician – identified by the signature plate affixed to the engine – is responsible for the complete assembly of an AMG high-performance engine from start to finish. After a technician assembles an engine, it is individually tested and then moved to a storage facility on the upper level. Flexible manufacturing processes allow the factory to quickly adjust for changes in demand for the various AMG models. A computerized data management system continuously optimizes engine inventory.

In addition to engine manufacturing, the new production facility is home to plant equipment management, quality control, production planning, and ordering and parts logistics departments.

The Showroom

The 8,000-square-foot AMG showroom in Affalterbach, a striking piece of steel/glass architecture in its own right, offers ample room both for hosting worldwide customers and for displaying eight AMG models.

Large-format vehicle images displayed on the front of the building serve a dual purpose, acting as a dramatic signpost and business card for the new AMG showroom and also functioning as sun and heat shields for people inside.

AMG Racing Success

  • 1980: An AMG Mercedes 450 SLC takes first place in the European Touring Car Championship Grand Prix race at the Nürburgring.
  • 1986: An AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 records two victories in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).
  • 1988: The AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 takes four wins in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM); Mercedes-Benz and AMG begin an official partnership in motorsports.
  • 1989: AMG is the most successful team in the DTM, with Klaus Ludwig and Johnny Cecotto notching up seven race wins at the wheel of the AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution I.
  • 1990: Premiere of the more powerful 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.
  • 1991: AMG Mercedes finishes at the top of the team standings and Klaus Ludwig is the most successful driver. Mercedes-Benz takes the manufacturers’ title. The DTM is at the height of its popularity, with the races attracting an audience of over 153 million.
  • 1992: AMG Mercedes again takes the team honors and Mercedes-Benz the manufacturers’ crown. Klaus Ludwig is the DTM champion driving an AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Ellen Lohr becomes the fist woman to win a round of the DTM – at the wheel of an AMG Mercedes – while former Formula 1 World Champion Keke Rosberg also drives for the team.
  • 1993: Roland Asch finishes runner-up in the DTM in an AMG Mercedes. This proves to be the farewell season for the AMG Mercedes 190 E, the winner of 50 races.
  • 1994: The new AMG Mercedes C-Class lines up on the starting grid, powered by a six-cylinder engine. Klaus Ludwig again takes the DTM crown.
  • 1995: AMG wins the DTM championship for the third time, as well as the international ITC series in its debut year. The drivers’ champion on each occasion is Bernd Schneider.
  • 1996: Bernd Schneider drives an AMG Mercedes to second place in the ITC.
  • 1997: The new Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, built by AMG in only 128 days, takes Bernd Schneider to the inaugural FIA GT Championship title.
  • 1998: AMG Mercedes dominates the FIA-GT series, with Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta winning all 11 races and the drivers’ championship in the CLK-GTR. AMG-Mercedes cruises to the constructors’ title.
  • 2000: In the first year of the new DTM (German Touring Car Masters) series, AMG clinches the championship title with Bernd Schneider at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM.
  • 2001: A repeat of the previous year with Bernd Schneider driving his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM to the drivers’ championship crown and AMG taking the team title.
  • 2002: The excitement of the DTM continues with the new CLK-DTM. Former Formula 1 star Jean Alesi makes the switch to Team AMG Mercedes after 201 Grand Prix races.
  • 2003: Bernd Schneider yet again clinches the driver’s championship as Team AMG Mercedes once again brings glory home in the DTM series.
  • 2004: Gary Paffett is runner-up in the DTM driver championship, and Team AMG Mercedes wins half of the series events.
  • 2005: Team AMG Mercedes is again a contender for the championship, with Gary Paffett, Jean Alesi and Mika Hakkinen fighting for the top positions.

The AMG Safety Car

Mercedes-AMG was represented in the Formula 1 World Championship by the SL55 AMG (official safety car) and C32 AMG station wagon (Medical Car) in 2003. The current Formula One safety car is the new SLK55 AMG Roadster. The company was also involved in international polo as a team sponsor.

In 1999, the motorsports department was absorbed into company founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht’s new firm H.W.A., located close to Mercedes-AMG. Some 170 staff now works together with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport to build racing cars and to manage the two companies’ long-standing involvement in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) race series.

About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the US. In 2004, MBUSA achieved an all-time sales record of 221,610 new vehicles, setting the highest sales volume ever in its history and achieving 11 consecutive years of sales growth.

More information on MBUSA can be found at http://www.maybachusa.com/

MBUSA News Media Contacts
Rob Moran 201-573-2245; Michelle Murad 201-573-4320

AMG Market | Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts
Media Contact: Greg Magnus, AMGmarket.com, 804-723-9160

Official Mercedes-AMG Website: www.mercedes-amg.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

21 Comments so far »

  1. Larr said,

    Wrote on March 18, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

    Many years ago (mid 1980′s) I ran across a guy that was driving a white with gold trim Benz AMG 1000. Fell in love with the car. Can you give me some info.

  2. abdur rahman said,

    Wrote on July 12, 2008 @ 7:44 am

    please if a new car is released it should be costumise
    like:
    rims should be big
    the rims shold be 5 star
    both bumpers shold be good

  3. Mercedes Benz Ebay Auctions | AMG Mercedes-Benz Articles said,

    Wrote on September 16, 2008 @ 1:03 am

    [...] The History of AMG [...]

  4. lalit kumar said,

    Wrote on November 20, 2008 @ 6:48 am

    A few months back I drove an S65 AMG, what actually I felt about that car was so light weight because the time u depress the throttle+kick down the car just like in air as good as flying.

  5. Coolbeans » AMG Builds a Car Cast From the Hand of Thor said,

    Wrote on April 10, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

    [...] word yet on the price of the E63, but any company with a “one man, one engine” policy of hand-building engines doesn’t produce inexpensive [...]

  6. Dr Hasan said,

    Wrote on April 22, 2009 @ 5:18 am

    I have an E55 2004, and and misplaced its service record book. Can you help me in this regards.

  7. Charles A. Gutierrez said,

    Wrote on August 13, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

    I am looking for information regarding the service of AMG automobiles. Service intervales, cost and service locations.

    Cost is a big factor in my decidison to purchase and G55.

    Yes, I know, if I have to ask about the cost, I shouldn’t be purchasing the vehicle.

    Thank you for your time.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  8. greg said,

    Wrote on August 14, 2009 @ 5:47 am

    Charles,
    Where are you located? Someone in your area may already own the model, which would be the best source of info. Service intervals are recommended by the manufacturer and they are included in the vehicles manual so it sounds like you’re looking for a manual? If so, what model year, etc.?
    Most manuals are available online now so it shouldn’t be hard to determine the service intervals recommended. Your local MB dealer can provide cost estimates for each recommended service as well as a copy of the manual if you can’t find it online.

  9. Floyd said,

    Wrote on October 10, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

    Correct: 300 SEL 6.8 (not 6.9). That was a modified 300 SEL 6.3 (long version, not SE).

  10. Peter Kenny Motloung said,

    Wrote on October 13, 2009 @ 8:01 am

    I wish to work for AMG, which inspires me a lot. My first AMG I saw was the W124, that’s when I fall in love with AMG.

  11. khalid said,

    Wrote on January 27, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    AMG is one of the famous factories, it is very important for me to know its history. All I can say to AMG Market team is thank you very much and you are doing a good job. – khalid morocco

  12. Kenny Peter Motloung said,

    Wrote on March 11, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    Viva AMG,long live AMG long live.What more can you ask for? Direct petrol fuel injection system that is brilliant,please guys lets try and do something for the diesel as well. I’m driving the E320 CDI W211 (2006 model) I had a problem with the turbo after taking it to the service center (M2 Cargo) three times, it was found that the jerking was caused by a faulty shaft in the gearbox. Please try to push the diesel engines up a little bit for example on the 220 C Class CDI increase power to 140kW and 320 CDI 180kW, the E Class 320 to 200k and the S Class 320 to 250kW. Last is the S Class S 420 CDI to 300kW.
    Let’s burn them and show them that AMG will stay for more than 40 years. Even if we go to the carb systems they will never beat us. AMG for live!!

  13. Jack Moore said,

    Wrote on June 22, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

    I have a new E63 AMG which is awesome. I will be coming to Germany from Memphis, TN, USA in August for the Passion Play. Is it close to Affalterbach, and if so, is there a good time for me to come by and see the production facility and perhaps meet the gentleman who assembled my engine. Much Thanks, Jack

  14. Greg Magnus said,

    Wrote on June 22, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

    Jack,
    AMG Market is not associated with the manufacturer, Mercedes AMG. We are an independent providing unbiased AMG Mercedes info for enthusiasts. You’ll need to contact Mercedes-AMG about a facility tour and site visit. Enjoy the trip – sounds like a great one!

  15. MB 300 SEL 6.3 AMG « IEDEI said,

    Wrote on July 25, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

  16. raymond tartell said,

    Wrote on August 23, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

    Dear sir I have a 2001 cl 55 amg, how many were made in 2001?

  17. Rashad Tillman said,

    Wrote on December 12, 2010 @ 5:26 am

    My passion is Mercedes…..I am a UTI student and I work at a factory certified Mercedes shop. What would I have to do to actually get a job at AMG???

  18. Donald said,

    Wrote on April 23, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    Looking for info on 1998 SL 500 AMG V8

  19. AKINYEMI SYLVIC said,

    Wrote on June 14, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    I have being following the products development of Mercedes Benz and its collaboration with other companies like AMG/DCAG over the years. I’m particularly impress by the high performance of the various AMGs and their track record.
    I wish to know the durability of the various AMGs engines and their fuel efficiency in litres per 100km.

  20. Raymond Lefebvre said,

    Wrote on May 15, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    I have a cl 55 amg and a c 43 amg 1999 with only 23000 km great cars top shapes.

  21. Joey Paunan said,

    Wrote on August 21, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    AMG automobiles are my automobile of choice. I purchased my first AMG back in 1997, it is a black on black model of a 1983 gray market 500SEC. It was imported from West Germany by a service member for his wife, and I bought it from them when they decided to sell it. I still have it to this day with 80000 miles original. I replaced the wheels with 17″x 8.5″ 5 spoke monoblock AMG OZ 3piece wheels and wide 255 rears and 245 fronts. Awesome piece of AMG history.

    Thank you.

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

Name: (Required)

E-mail: (Required)

Website:

Comment: