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Mercedes-Benz to expand its specialist AMG network

Mercedes-Benz is rolling out specialist AMG sales and service operations across its UK retail network, with one in each of the 32 market areas.

The first, based at Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands, has already opened and the remainder are expected to open in the coming months.

The AMG area is distinguished from the rest of the showroom through the use of different point-of-sale material and display stands.

Sales staff will be given extra training and equipment, and dealers will have to employ dedicated AMG specialists.

Dealer investment will be supported by Mercedes-Benz and AMG in Germany.

Despite tighter consumer credit and rising fuel costs, demand for AMG models remains strong.

But higher motoring costs are also benefiting sales of Mercedes’s ‘greener’ models, particularly Smart which has seen a 140% increase year-on-year.

Mercedes-Benz UK managing director Dermot Kelly said: “The market has polarised into those who want the latest engine and the people who are looking for extreme value. It’s the middle ground who are holding off.”

Stop-start systems will be made standard on the Smart ForTwo range from September, with a diesel variant due next February. An electric version is planned for 2010.

Sales of the eco-friendly Blue Efficiency Mercedes cars start in October with diesel versions of the A-Class and B-Class. Petrol variants are due in early 2009.

This will extend to a line-up of 20 models, with the C-Class next to receive the treatment. Lighter and more aerodynamic than the standard version and fitted with low rolling resistance tyres, C-Class Blue Efficiency claims fuel savings of up to 12%.

Two petrol engines and a diesel will be offered, with fuel economy as high as 55mpg for the C200 CDI Blue Efficiency.

The model was launched in the rest of Europe in March, but Mercedes-Benz has yet to reveal a UK date or pricing.

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