Sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars developed positively throughout 2010, with double-digit increases recorded every month. As a result, the brand had already surpassed its 2009 sales volume by the end of November.
The fourth quarter has been the best quarter in the company’s history, with deliveries of 313.700 units, an increase of 14 percent. Worldwide sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars rose 15 percent in 2010, to 1,167,700 units (2009: 1,012,300). In December, the brand managed to increase sales by double-digit figures for the fourteenth month in a row: 108,100 units were sold, an increase of eleven percent compared to December 2009 which was itself a very good month (97,700 units).
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “We were extremely successful this past year, exceeding practically all of our targets, some quite considerably. Our sales in many markets developed much better than expected. This means that our forecast for achieving sales growth of at least ten percent for Mercedes-Benz in 2010 turned out to be more than correct. Our growth outperformed that of the global passenger car market as a whole, which is why we were able to gain market shares. The year was marked by the success of the E- and S-Class in particular, as well as high growth rates mainly in China and the other BRIC countries. We are also very satisfied with our performance in the U.S.”
Product offensive to generate positive momentum in 2011
Zetsche on the outlook for 2011: “Prospects are looking very good for Mercedes-Benz in the new year. We’ve got an attractive and competitive model lineup and expect to generate additional momentum with a wide range of new products.”
The 2011 product offensive will kick off with the market launch of the new CLS on January 10. Incoming orders for this vehicle already indicate that the model’s past success will continue. With its combination of fascinating design, high quality, extensive safety features, and outstanding efficiency, the CLS completely embodies the brand values of Perfection, Fascination, and Responsibility. The offensive continues in the spring with the new generation of the brand’s highest volume model, the C-Class, which will further boost sales momentum, as will the new SLK and the new C-Class coupe. The fall of 2011 will see the launch of the new M-Class, a model that will stimulate additional demand in the SUV segment. The offensive will continue at the end of the year with the new B-Class — the first model of the new compact-vehicle generation. Mercedes-Benz will also pursue the introduction of its new and highly efficient four, six, and eight-cylinder engines, as well as its standard start-stop feature. Highlights here will include the C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY from the new-generation C-Class series with a fuel consumption of only 4.4 liters per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 117 grams.
China: Sales more than doubled – premium brand with highest growth rate; other BRIC countries with sales increases of 40 to 80 percent
In 2010, Mercedes-Benz set new sales records every month in its third-largest single market, China (incl. Hong Kong), posting higher rates of growth than its key competitors. The original sales target of 120,000 units had already been exceeded at the end of November. Deliveries for full-year 2010 in China totaled 148,400 passenger cars, or more than double the number of units (+112%) sold in the prior year (70,100 units). A total of 18.300 customers opted to purchase a passenger car from the brand with the star in December, an increase of 94 percent from December 2009 (9,500 units).
Mercedes-Benz also recorded very high growth rates in many other markets besides China. The premium segment in India for example was marked by dynamic development in 2010. Mercedes-Benz sales reached the record level of 5,800 units, an increase of 80 percent, which was well above expectations. Mercedes-Benz achieved record sales in Russia as well (19,700 units; +64%). In Brazil, deliveries increased by 46 percent to 7,500 units. Record sales were also posted in South Korea (16,500 units; +86%) and Turkey (12,300 units; +27%). In South Africa (22.300 units; +16%), Mercedes-Benz was the market leader in 2010. Mercedes-Benz was also very successful in Australia (18,900 units; +19%) and Taiwan (7,200 units; +49%).
14 percent growth in the U.S. – Mercedes-Benz gains market shares; market leader in Canada
Mercedes-Benz exceeded its original sales target of 200,000 units in the U.S. in 2010. The brand delivered 216,400 passenger vehicles in its second-largest single market, an increase of 14 percent (2009: 190,600 units). This result enabled Mercedes-Benz to gain market shares. In December, sales rose slightly to 20,100 units – despite a strong December in the prior year (December 2009: 20,000 units). A new sales record was posted in Canada, where Mercedes-Benz was the market leader and delivered 28,100 cars to customers in 2010, an increase of 16 percent.
Germany: Mercedes-Benz remains the number one premium brand
Mercedes-Benz was once again by far the best-selling premium brand in Germany in 2010. Market share in the country rose considerably, to 9.6 percent. The brand also recorded an eleven percent sales increase in the fourth quarter. As expected, and against the background of a strongly declining overall market (minus 23 percent), sales of Mercedes-Benz in 2010 reached the same level as in 2009: 265,000 units were delivered to customers (2009: 265,500 units). Mercedes-Benz sales in Western Europe (excluding Germany) totaled 291,900 passenger vehicles (2009: 286,100 units) in 2010, an increase of two percent. Sales were up from the prior year in several markets, including the UK and Spain. In Portugal Mercedes-Benz recorded an increase of 36 percent with sales of 9.100 units and marked the best year in the company’s history.
E-Class convertible completes E-Class family; high growth rates for the sedan, estate, and coupe
The completion of the E-Class family with the addition of the E-Class convertible in the spring of 2010 was one of the major highlights of 2010. A total of 20,800 units of the model were sold last year. All the other E-Class models also met with a huge response in 2010: The sedan attracted 208,400 customers, or 32 percent more than in the prior year, while sales of the estate more than doubled (44,400 units; +157%). Both models were the market leaders in their respective segments in 2010. The coupe was also very popular (49,600 units; +39%).
S-Class: Setting standards for sales and efficiency in its segment
Besides the success of the E-Class, high growth rates for the S-Class also contributed to the brand’s high value model mix in 2010. A total of 66,500 customers opted for the luxury sedan. This increase of 25 percent was very impressive given the new model launches by competitors. In 2010 Mercedes-Benz not only came out ahead of its competitors in this segment in terms of S-Class sales, but also took the lead in efficiency: With fuel consumption of only 5.7 liters per 100 km, the S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is the most economical luxury sedan in the world. The S 350 BlueTEC is one of the cleanest diesels worldwide and recently achieved five stars in the ADAC EcoTest as the first vehicle in its class.
Additional momentum was generated in 2010 by the new CL, which recorded a sales increase of 53 percent following the model’s market launch in the fourth quarter. In the spring of 2010, Mercedes-Benz presented the facelifted Maybach with a much broader range of new equipment features for the high-end luxury sedan segment. Despite a pause in production due to the facelift, Daimler was able to sell around 200 Maybach vehicles last year, matching the previous year’s level.
C-Class sedan again market leader worldwide; record SUV sales
Mercedes-Benz’ best-selling model, the C-Class, was very successful in 2010 – the last year ahead of a facelift for the series. Deliveries of the sedan rose eleven percent to 250,600 units, making the vehicle the market leader in its segment. The estate was also very popular in 2010 (62,900 units; +9%).
All Mercedes-Benz model ranges in the SUV segment were successful in 2010, leading to a new sales record (200.500 units; +17%). The GLK played a major role by setting a sales record with an increase of 20 percent. Also performing extremely well were the new-generation R-Class (+7%), the M-Class (+12%), the GL-Class (+28%), and the G-Class (+19%).
A-and B-Class maintain success; zero-emission vehicles now in series production
The Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class performed well in the final year before the launch of the first model of the new compact-vehicle generation. Sales of the two models increased from the prior year, totaling 222,400 units (2009: 219,300). The A-Class E-Cell with its electric drive system, and the B-Class F-Cell with its fuel cell drive demonstrate Mercedes-Benz’ innovative power and technology leadership in the field of alternative drive systems. Both models are already manufactured under series-production conditions – the first B-Class F-Cell units were delivered to customers in Europe and the U.S. at the end of last year, while deliveries of the A-Class E-Cell will start at the beginning of 2011.
smart fortwo: Pioneer in electric mobility
Small-series production of the smart fortwo electric drive started in the fall of 2009. High demand for the model caused the production target for 2010 to be raised to 1,500 units, half of which had already been delivered by the end of the year. Global sales of the smart fortwo totaled 97,500 units in 2010 (2009: 117,000 units; -17%). The sales development of the smart fortwo was highly influenced by strong declines in the comparative class of vehicles, especially in the key smart markets of Germany, Italy, and France. Nevertheless, the innovative two-seater remained at the top of its segment for ten consecutive months in Germany, for example. The model is also very popular in China, where it initially went on sale in April 2009. A total of 3,900 smart fortwo were delivered in China in 2010, or more than twice the number sold in the prior year (+116%).