Mercedes-Benz's performance division, AMG, has posted a 19 percent increase in global sales for 2008. Sales were 24,200 for AMG in 2008. Bucking the trend of falling sales in the automotive industry, even for premium and luxury automakers.

Although the automotive industry took one of its worst beatings in history last year, Mercedes-Benz performance division AMG has posted its best sales record yet.

AMG global sales were 24,200 for 2008, an increase of 19 percent over the previous year's 20,300.

The largest market for AMG was the United States, which accounted for 38 percent of all sales. The German market is AMG's second largest, accounting for 13 percent of total sales and where sales were up 34 percent over 2007.

AMG delivered 8,100 of the C 63 AMG and 3,050 of the SL 63 AMG.

Successful for the performance division was also AMG's sports package offering on certain vehicles, which increased its sales by 75 percent. AMG also had twice as many registrations to its AMG Driving Academy as in 2007, the year in which it was founded.

In light of its success, AMG has committed itself to improving the fuel economy of its vehicles by 30 percent by 2012. AMG cars already meet the EU-5 standards and will make the EU-6 standards earlier than 2014 when they come into effect. AMG will be making use of lightweight materials, better engine management and regulation of water and oil pumps, and introducing direct-injection and stop-start technology in all its models in 2010.

Division head Volker Mornhinweg, recently declared the "the horsepower war is over." AMG will now be boosting performance mostly through new technologies that improve efficiency.


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