Transforming Performance

The silent revolution.

What will the performance of the future look like? What role do electrification, digitization, and connectivity have to play? 63Magazine takes a closer look at “Transforming Performance” in conversation with three experts from different backgrounds: a CEO, an engineer, and a creative.

Philipp Schiemer – “Transforming Performance“ from the perspective of the CEO of Mercedes-AMG

Philipp Schiemer has been CEO of Mercedes-AMG since August 1,  2020. He has held various management positions in the Mercedes-Benz Group since 1987, most recently as CEO of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil Ltda.

What does “Transforming Performance” mean with regard to the future direction of Mercedes-AMG?

PS: It is clear that Mercedes-AMG must prepare for the future. AMG stands for performance, and that will continue. Our brand is “Born on the Racetrack”. But we will carry sustainability and electrification into the future and prove that  performance still works when considering those aspects. Our aim in that area is to offer “E PERFORMANCE" that genuinely impresses our customers. With Project ONE, for example, we are bringing Formula 1 technology to the road for the first time – in the form of an engine that has an extremely high thermal efficiency of over 50 percent.

Phillip Schrimer Portrait
Phillip Schrimer Portrait

What opportunities does this transformative phase open up for the automotive industry?

PS: We can use this transformation to address new target groups. You often hear that young people are no longer so interested in cars. But I am sure that the fantastic new technologies, with their previously completely unimaginable possibilities, will meet the different demands of these younger people and, increasingly, of women. We are not only talking about the acceleration and performance of the vehicle in this context, but also about the interior, the feel, and the design. I think there are great opportunities in those areas. AMG has always been a pioneer and will also have a special role to play in this regard.

Will this transformation adjust the values of Mercedes-AMG?

PS: Our values will remain the same, because the standards we set for ourselves and our products haven’t changed: never settling for the status quo, always striving for the optimum, and inspiring our customers with fascinating products and exclusive offers. But, of course, we are constantly adapting the specific applications of our values to the current challenges. It is important that we take the entire team with us on this journey – both our employees and our customers.

"AMG has always been a pioneer and will also have a special role to play in electrification."

So is the AMG brand undergoing a transformation?

PS: AMG is a brand for performance-loving aesthetes, as well as people with a love of detail who want to experience their car in an intense way. But we will redefine Performance 2.0. We know that sustainability and electrification are important. Performance used to be about an eightcylinder, six-liter engine. In the future, it will be something else. But it has to provide the same sense of fun and fit with our times.

What can the customer expect from the sports car of the future?

PS: Without doubt, a genuine AMG that delivers performance and is highly emotive.

What is Mercedes-AMG doing to create that emotion?

PS: Emotion, of course, does not only come from driving. It’s about experiencing  the vehicle in every dimension. That’s why we attach special importance to the interior: the exclusive workmanship, the very highest quality, but focused on performance in every detail. At AMG, we also see ourselves as “The World’s Fastest Family,” and consciously include our customers in that. The customer experience is our top priority, whether it is via our products or the exclusive  experiences that we make reality in direct contact with people, awakening emotions in the process.

How have the changes of the last few months affected you personally?

PS: You become more thoughtful and live more consciously. In times like these, you have to prioritize and focus on the essentials – both privately and professionally. The current change that surrounds us has shown me that cohesion and  commonality are becoming increasingly important. And that can also be applied to the AMG family – we will only achieve our goals if we stick together as a team and pull in the same direction. We also need to realize that in part we have to break away from the tried and tested and rethink things. But every transformation also offers an opportunity, and that will help AMG progress: to look even more closely at the details and to listen very carefully to what our  customers expect from us. If we transfer that to our vehicles and, at the same time, bring our customers along for the ride as part of the AMG family, we have a great future ahead of us.

Jochen Hermann – “Transforming Performance“ from the perspective of an engineer

Jochen Hermann has been Chief Technical Officer at Mercedes-AMG since August 2020. He previously worked as Head of eDrive Development at Mercedes-Benz Group AG and from 2014 to 2016 as Head of Overall Vehicle Development at AMG.

What does “Transforming Performance” mean with regard to the future direction of Mercedes-AMG?

JH: We want to improve the performance of our vehicles. New technical possibilities allow us to offer customers a more complete driving experience, including through electrification. The future “High-Performance Electrification” will bring an even broader smile to the faces of our customers.

What does the mobility of the future look like from the perspective of an engineer?

JH: As an engineer it is always exciting to work on the future – especially now, when we are experiencing transformation in all dimensions. This is an incredibly  exciting time for us as developers and also offers a lot of opportunities! Electrification, for example, will take us a long way forward in terms of performance, too. That is something our customers can really look forward to!

Jochen Hermann Portrait
Jochen Hermann Portrait

What role will connectivity play in future vehicle development?

JH: Modern life without connectivity has become unimaginable. Of course, it will also become ever more significant in mobility, too. We will offer things that make the transition from smartphones to vehicles easier. We will integrate mobile apps even more effectively into the automotive world. We will develop additional AMG-specific subject areas, which can also be integrated into smartphones. There are many possibilities.

"I like the sound of our engines – but electrification adds an extra kick!"

Does that also include making life more relaxed?

JH: For many people, the two things that keep them busy for many hours every day are, on the one hand, their smartphone and, on the other hand, driving. We want to connect the two even more effectively, create added value, and, in the process, make life easier for the customer. That leaves more time to enjoy driving – because after all, that’s what our cars are made for.

Alongside the performance aspect, how important is emotion?

JH: An AMG is always about performance and emotion, in every dimension – be it driving, steering, accelerating, braking, sound, the look, or the feel – that is AMG.

That means you’re also responsible for the emotions as an engineer?

JH: Yes – we engineers are always accused of being emotionless. Not the ones at AMG!

Rankin – “Transforming Performance“ from the perspective of a creative mind

Rankin is a British photographer, film director, and publisher. He founded the magazine Dazed & Confused in 1991 and fashion and lifestyle biannual Hunger in 2010 and is known for his pictures of celebrities such as Kate Moss, David Bowie, and Queen Elizabeth II.

How would you describe AMG from the perspective of a creative?

R: As a creative, most of the intent of my work is about the experience of the audience. So, when I look at a car, and the way it’s designed, my focus is always on how it makes me feel. What I love about the AMG brand is that it really feels like an experience when you drive the car, very unlike any other experience. The car feels like it’s in tune with the driver. Driving AMG is a visceral experience. You feel like the car wants to go fast. You feel like the car is an extension of you.

The Picture shows Photograph Rankin in a Car
The Picture shows Photograph Rankin in a Car
Will the paradigm shift of “Transforming Performance” also be reflected in art?
R: People who have artistic desires often limit themselves by focusing on the final product rather than the process. I like to think of creativity as lots of actions, such as picking up my camera every day, even when I’m not shooting professionally. I did a lot of that during lockdown, as well as having conversations with creative people or absorbing the art of others. So I urge creative minds to stop thinking of the big product – that film you’ve always wanted to make, but could never find the funding, or that book you’ve always wanted to write. Let’s focus on the small things – the things we can accomplish every single day. That’s how we really transform.

"We perform to transform and transform to perform."

As a photographer, what demands do you have on the car of the future, especially in terms of design?

R: Selfishly, I want cars to look good. I don’t just want them to feel good when you drive them, but aesthetically, I want something that looks incredible.

What does life in the future mean to you?

R: Life is scary right now, and so is the future. But we have to hold on to our ability to transform. That’s what humans have always done, for better or for worse. It’s our mission. Look at the developments in car design over the past 100 years, or the development of cinema, or LGBTQIA+ rights: We’re always building on the best of what came before us. You can see this in the reaction to this year. We are still trying to figure out what this year means to us. So photographers pick up their cameras, singers continue to sing – we perform to transform and transform to perform.

Will the transformation in different areas of life also affect you as an artist?

R: The transformation in our lives has already begun to affect me. I’m photographing flowers, and I’m reconsidering what I am going to be doing for the next five years. I’m taking much more time for myself, reading more books. What’s happened in the last year has made us all consider who we are, what we are, and how we deal with the world, creatively, but also personally. And I think that going forward, I want to have more empathy. More empathy for my fellow humans, but also more empathy for the planet. I really think that is going to be the big transformation. We’re all taking the planet’s welfare much more seriously.

Photography | Anatol Kotte | Rankin

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Transforming Performance - Video Interview with our three experts

Mercedes-AMG is an emotional experience. A passion that can only be exceeded by sharing it. 

Experience the future of Driving Performance! In this exclusive video, our experts provide insights into electromobility, digitalisation and connectivity that will define the brand experience of the future.

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