AMG posts record sales Best year ever: 2008 - Record sales for Mercedes-AMG GmbH * 24,200 AMG high-performance vehicles delivered worldwide * Germany is second-strongest market with 34 per cent growth * 73 per cent increase for AMG sports package Mercedes-AMG GmbH is celebrating the most successful year in its company history. AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars, succeeded in increasing unit sales worldwide by 19 per cent, selling 24,200 vehicles (previous year 20,300) and bucking the market trend in extremely difficult conditions. As in previous years, the USA was the strongest market for AMG with a share of 38 per cent of total sales. Germany came in second place (13 per cent), followed by Japan (8 per cent). The German market has developed very positively with a clear increase of 34 per cent compared with the previous year. The greatest growth markets of 2008 include amongst others China and Brazil with rates of increase of 260 per cent and 565 per cent respectively. With these figures AMG confirms its leading position amongst high-performance vehicle brands and at the same time further expands its market share in the high-performance segment. The C 63 AMG made a considerable contribution to the success of 2008 with 8100 vehicles delivered. The C 63 AMG, available as a saloon and as an estate, is thereby the most successful AMG automobile of all time. The new SL 63 AMG also developed positively, with 3,050 enthusiastic purchasers in 2008. In addition, a further chapter of the Black Series success story was relayed to the world with the SL 65 AMG Black Series, limited to 350 units - and enchanted the media and demanding AMG customers alike. Successful: AMG sports package and AMG Driving Academy The AMG sports package also made a positive contribution to the year's success. The striking sporty equipment packages are available for numerous Mercedes lines and were sought after by more customers than ever in 2008; the increase over 2007 amounted to 73 per cent. The AMG Driving Academy, founded in 2007, registered twice as many applications as in 2007. The strength of demand for high-class racing circuit training and events has led AMG to undertake a considerable expansion of the AMG Driving Academy options for 2009. Individual customer attention and first class customer care also played a crucial role in AMG's continually increasing success. Hence AMG is to establish 175 new AMG Performance Centers worldwide by the end of next year: its engagement in intensifying customer relations now covers 15 countries in total. Environmentally compatible vehicle development initiatives In addition to its passion for high-performance sports vehicles, Mercedes-AMG GmbH is also committed to social responsibility and is intensifying its engagement in the development of environmentally compatible vehicles. AMG is already "Best in Class" amongst its performance car subsidiary and sporting brand competitors in the field of consumption. All AMG vehicles will surpass the EU-5 standards which come into force from 2009 and also the EU-6 standards which will apply from 2014. To reduce consumption, AMG is shortly to introduce efficiency-increasing engine-generator management as well as regulated oil and water pumps. From 2010 AMG will equip its vehicles with direct petrol injection and with start-stop function. Through constantly increasing efficiency, AMG will from 2012 achieve a reduction in consumption of 30 per cent in comparison to present levels. AMG was founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher and is considered to be a pioneer in the field of motor sport and refinement. The cooperation contract agreed with Daimler-Benz AG in 1990 was followed in 1999 by gradual integration into the then DaimlerChrysler AG. On 1 January 2005 DaimlerChrysler AG took 100 per cent of the shares. Today Mercedes-AMG GmbH is a vehicle manufacturer and AMG is the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars. The subsidiary firm of Daimler AG is uniquely specialised in the field of high-performance vehicles and, with its sporty saloons, coupés, cabriolets, roadsters, SUVs and specially produced one-off vehicles, offers a product portfolio which leaves no customer wish unfulfilled. Mercedes-AMG possesses overall responsibility for design, aerodynamics and interior as well as drive system, engine, chassis, brakes and electronics, and ultimately for the final release of the AMG complete vehicle. In addition, marketing and sales-related aspects are handled independently.