Mercedes-AMG aims to prevent Project One profiteering


Mercedes-AMG Project One. Image: Mercedes-AMG via AFP Relaxnews

Mercedes-AMG is taking the unusual step of inserting a clause into the purchase contract for its upcoming Project One, to prevent buyers selling the car on for a quick profit when deliveries commence early next year.

When a big concert tour is announced and sells out in minutes, those “sold out” tickets appear online almost immediately after, for sale at inflated prices. Similarly, with new, highly-sought-after cars, some buyers put down deposits to get on the waiting list with the express intention of selling the car on as soon as possible, for above retail price to someone with money to spare who missed out and is desperate to get their hands on one.

For a number of supercars such as the McLaren Senna and the Ford GT, buyers have had to apply to be considered for ownership, and the models are selling out before they even go into production. Despite their huge price tickets, these cars are “must-have” items for discerning collectors with the money to pay for them. The temptation for speculators to get in on the act and make a quick buck is huge.

For its GT supercar, Ford added a contractual restriction that prevented customers from selling their car for at least 24 months. Now, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that Mercedes-AMG is doing something similar, with a contract clause to stop new owners from flipping the car for a quick profit. Porsche is also following suit with its 911 GT3 Touring, after some customers were found to be profiteering with the 911 R.

Despite manufacturers’ best efforts, some still slip through the net. Last year, an American celebrity was sued by Ford for violating the terms of his Ford GT purchase contract, which included an extensive application process. That case was settled out of court, but another 2017 GT is being put up for auction at Mecum’s Monterey sale later this month.

Someone has already tried to sell a Project One build slot last November, when the $2.6 million car was offered for the equivalent of $5.2 million, and another one with a mid-2019 delivery date is still listed.

The exclusive upcoming Formula One-sourced Project One is a 1,000 horsepower hybrid capable of going from 0 to 124 miles per hour in just six seconds, it has a top speed of more than 217 miles per hour, and it can operate on electric-only emitting zero emissions for up to 15.5 miles.

The German magazine says all 275 units of the Mercedes-AMG Project One are sold, and that the manufacturer has begun first test drives of camouflaged prototypes on race tracks in England and Spain closed to the press and public. JB


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