In March, Mercedes-Benz continued the positive sales development of the prior two months, increasing sales by nine percent to 109,300 vehicles (March 2009: 98,500). As a result, the brand delivered 15 percent more vehicles to customers in the first quarter of 2010 than in the same quarter of the prior year.

“As expected, we concluded the first quarter successfully in terms of sales,” said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Moreover, thanks to the increasing success of the new E- and S-Class we were also able to further improve our sales mix. We will continue this positive sales trend in the coming weeks, and we anticipate another significant sales increase in the second quarter.” This increase will be generated primarily through growth for Mercedes-Benz in key sales markets such as the U.S. and China, as well as the introduction of numerous new products. The new E-Class convertible, for example, rounded out the E-Class family on March 27, which was also the day the first Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG vehicles were delivered to customers. Mercedes-Benz also recently unveiled another 2010 highlight at the New York International Auto Show — the new-generation R-Class, which will be launched in the U.S. in August, in Western Europe in September, and in China, its biggest market, in October.

Mercedes-Benz’ sales were up in all regions in the first quarter, but most especially in China (incl. Hongkong), where deliveries totaled a record 24,100 units (Q1 2009: 11,800). This increase of 105 percent was the highest recorded by any premium manufacturer in China. Mercedes-Benz also boosted its sales in China by 57 percent in March alone, to 8,500 units (March 2009: 5,400). Within the Asia/Pacific region Mercedes-Benz also posted gains in March in Japan (plus 18 percent), Australia (plus 14 percent), and South Korea (plus 95 percent). The brand also did well in the three other BRIC countries of India (plus 21 percent), Brazil (plus 40 percent), and Russia (plus 40 percent).

Sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the U.S. rose 22 percent to 49,200 passenger vehicles in the first three months of the year (Q1 2009: 40,200), making the brand the highest-volume German premium manufacturer in that country. Mercedes-Benz has been the U.S. market leader among the German premium brands since the beginning of the year. March sales of 19,600 units in the U.S. were 26 percent higher than during the same month last year (March 2009: 15,600). Mercedes-Benz sales in Canada climbed 24 percent in March to a record 2,700 units (Q1 2009: 2,200).

Deliveries in Western Europe (excluding Germany) totaled 70,300 units in the first quarter, seven percent more than in the same period last year (Q1 2009: 65,500). In March, sales rose by four percent to 34,000 (March 2009: 32,900) units. Mercedes-Benz posted growth in countries such as the UK (plus 15 percent), Spain (plus 24 percent), Belgium (plus 23 percent), the Netherlands (plus 25 percent), Switzerland (plus seven percent), Portugal (plus 67 percent), and Sweden (plus 67 percent). The brand once again gained market shares in Germany in March, and remains the most successful premium automaker on its home market. Sales in March amounted to 25,000 units (March 2009: 26,000; minus four percent).

The new E-Class made a big contribution to the brand’s overall sales increases in the first quarter. Worldwide sales of the sedan nearly doubled to 45,700 units, with the model maintaining its market leadership in its segment as a result. The S-Class luxury sedan recorded sales of 13,500 units during the first quarter, a 23 percent increase from the figure for Q1 2009. Sales of the C-Class sedan rose ten percent to 57,000 vehicles through March, while sales in the SUV segment increased 12 percent to 41,100 units.

A total of 10,600 smart fortwo were delivered worldwide in March (March 2009: 11,900; minus eleven percent). Sales of this vehicle are expected to rebound once the new generation of the smart fortwo is introduced in the third quarter of 2010.

Source: Daimler AG