Mercedes-AMG: One Man – Two Engines.
Performance, passion and responsibility.
Many have heard the slogan “One Man – One Engine”. For us, it means “performance, passion and responsibility” and we live it day by day in our engine production plant at AMG in Affalterbach. So, why now “One Man – Two Engines”? Let’s just take a step back. A little over three years ago, in July 2012, I made my blog début with a piece entitled “Formula 1 at AMG”.
At that time, I had the honour of working with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg on building a 5.5 litre V8 biturbo engine (M157), which was then fitted in a CLS Shooting Brake and subsequently auctioned for the charity “Ein Herz für Kinder”.
Googled, found, met.
A customer became aware of this piece when he googled my name and the first two hits listed were links to the Daimler blog. But why should anyone google my name? The “searcher” is the proud owner of an SLS AMG and a C 63 AMG (BR204) and, as fate would have it, both engines were constructed by me.
When the customer realised this, he wrote the following comment under my post. 'Hello Mr Zeitke, last week I picked up my AMG. I now have two AMGs in my garage and have realised that it was you who installed the engines for both of my vehicles. What a coincidence! So far, I'm perfectly satisfied with both vehicles, warmest greetings, Uwe W.'
Coincidence or fate.
Whether it was coincidence or fate, that is something everyone will have to decide for themselves. So, I was really pleased that one customer has two vehicles with engines installed by me and that he had gone to the trouble of googling me and then making contact. Our hard-working colleagues at digital communication took the idea up and asked him whether he could imagine coming and meeting me personally at AMG in Affalterbach. It took a while before we could fix a suitable date but in the end, we managed it.
Visit to the workplace.
He came to visit us at Affalterbach with his son in his SLS AMG. First, I showed him the Performance Studio and then the glazed engine test bench where visitors can experience, at first hand, how glowing hot the two turbos in our new V-engine can become. After that, we went to my workplace: the engine production plant. Of course, I made sure that I personally accompanied the customer and explained to him the various stages such as quality assurance and the working procedures. After that, we went on to the showroom and my feeling was that both father and son were rather impressed.
By this time we had been chatting a little as, of course, I was also interested to know what his line of business was. When we got to the showroom, we first drove the SLS into the centre of the forecourt.
Talk between two AMG experts.
Our discussions about the car ranged from retrofitting performance seats to replace the “normal” seats, mirrors in a carbon-fibre look and also the fact that his suspension is a touch “harder” than the “normal” version. It turned out that he used to have a C 55 AMG. However, he did stress that the SLS is the best car he has ever owned. As the person who built the engines for it, I think that’s just about the biggest compliment you can make to someone like me!
An inspiring look under the bonnet.
Of course, what we couldn’t forget was a look under the bonnet. To see the engine which you put so much passion into, now fitted in the customer vehicle is, of course, a really inspiring and special moment. Finally, I couldn’t resist sitting briefly behind the wheel. Apart from the car itself, I was also impressed by the relaxed and open conversation we had. Of course, our enthusiastic discussion meant that the time flew by and before very long, it was nearly time to leave. As a small group, we briefly looked back on the day together.
I think I am right in saying that everybody was absolutely delighted with the way things went. Of course, I hope that for him it wasn't the last AMG and who knows, maybe I will get my hat-trick.