auto motor und sport, often abbreviated to AMS, is a leading German automobile magazine. It is published fortnightly by Motor Presse Netzwerk subsidiary Motor Presse Stuttgart, a specialist magazine publisher that is 59.9% owned by the publishing house Gruner + Jahr.
History and profile
AMS, originally published in Freiburg, was the creation of three men, two of them racing drivers, named Paul Pietsch and Ernst Troeltsch, and the third a business man named Joeef Hummel.
The first edition, entitled simply "Das Auto" appeared in time for Christmas in 1946 with a cover price of RM 1.50. It was edited and in large part written by F.A.L.Martin who enriched the magazine with his report of automotive developments on the USA. A two-page feature highlighted the virtues of the "Jeep", a word that "appeared in no dictionary but nonetheless defined the ideal vehicle for agriculture and forestry". Two more pages were devoted to the future of nuclear power, incorporating four striking pictures of different nuclear explosions, but concluding that on cost grounds oil based fuels were likely to continue to power motor vehicles in the immediate future because of the high cost of "atomic fuel" (Atombetriebsstoff) applying currently known technologies.
The second edition appeared in January 1947, and was a double magazine also covering February 1947: this approach was enforced by paper rationing.
By 1950 the requirements of an expanding circulation had necessitated the relocation to larger premises in Stuttgart. During the 1960s demand for the magazine increased further from approximately 150,000 copies per issue to approximately 400,000. This reflected rapid growth in West German registrations, with 4.5 million cars registered in the country in 1960, rising to 12.5 million in 1969. The readership continued to increase, at a slower rate, during the next two decades: sales peaked in 1991 at an average level of 523,387 copies per issue: during the early years of the twenty-first century, they hovered between 470,000 and 480,000, but 2007 saw an increase to 495,683. Approximately 9% of sales were made outside Germany.
The circulation of the magazine was 406,474 copies during the period of 2010-2011, making it the ninth best-selling European automobile magazine.
In 1996, a special anniversary issue featured, over several pages, a Berlin subscriber who had retained every copy of Auto Motor und Sport since, at the age of 17, and just over a year after his father's car had been confiscated by a Russian officer, he had subscribed for the first issue. The weight of the first fifty years' copies, stored in his cellar, amounted to just under 400 kg.
The circulation of the magazine was 494,000 copies in the period 2001-2002.
Joint managing editors, Ralph Alex and Jens Katemann, took over from Bernd Ostmann in September 2012 though Ostmann retains a senior production role. Earlier managing editors included, between 1975 and 1982, Ferdinand Simoneit.
Motor Presse Netzwerk also issues a yearly publication called Auto Katalog, usually in August of every year. This highly respected publication is an excellent resource, and is issued in countless other languages as well. The main shortcoming could be somewhat of a nationalist myopia, resulting in a strong focus on models available for sale in Germany to the exclusion of many model variants that are only available elsewhere. Yearly sales figures and an in-depth technical section are also included, to the joy of automotive anoraks the world over.
International versions of Auto, Motor und Sport exist, such as Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
At once there was a British and only English-language edition, called "Complete Car".