Mercedes-Benz delivered more cars to customers in 2015 than ever before in one year. The Stuttgart-based premium brand with the three-pointed star sold a total of 1,871,511 vehicles (+13.4%), posting its fifth record year in a row. Furthermore, the year 2015 ended for Mercedes-Benz with its strongest-selling December (178,017 units, +9.1%) and best quarter (495.159 units, +8.8%).
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Last year, we sold more cars than ever before. We were able to increase our unit sales in all three core regions – Europe, NAFTA and Asia-Pacific. And with 373,459 units sold, China developed into our biggest individual market worldwide in 2015. With growth there of 32.6%, Mercedes-Benz grew significantly faster than the overall automobile market.”
Growth drivers in 2015 were the SUVs and the compact cars. For the first time, more than half a million units were sold in each segment. “We anticipate additional sales impetus in 2016 from the new E-Class, the world’s most intelligent business saloon. And our new dream cars such as the S-Class Cabrio, the C-Class Coupé and the new generations of the SL and SLK will further boost the fascination of the Mercedes-Benz brand,” stated Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales.
Consequent hybridization is a concrete component of the Mercedes-Benz drivetrain strategy. Last year alone, the brand presented four new Plug-In Hybrid models: the C 350 e as a Saloon and Estate, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC, and the GLC 350 e 4MATIC. Meanwhile, Plug-In Hybrids account for a growing share of the unit sales of Mercedes-Benz. In 2017, a total of ten Mercedes-Benz Plug-In Hybrid models will be on the market. On average, a new Plug-In Hybrid is launched every four months.
Europe: double-digit growth in nearly all markets
In Europe, Mercedes-Benz sold more cars in 2015 than ever before in one year: A total of 798,852 customers decided in favour of a car with the three-pointed star (+10.5%). In the highly competitive German market, Mercedes-Benz once again maintained its market leadership amongst the premium manufacturers in 2015. Unit sales in Germany increased by 4.7% in 2015. In Great Britain, the second-largest European market, another sales record was set in 2015 with a total of 144,474 vehicles handed over to customers (+17.0%). The brand achieved double-digit growth in unit sales in nearly all of the region’s markets, with particularly high rates in Italy (+13.8%), Spain (+27.3%), Turkey (+30.9%), Switzerland (+21.6%) and Netherlands (+30.7%). In Portugal, Mercedes-Benz was the premium brand with the most new registrations in 2015.
Strongest growth in the Asia-Pacific region
In the Asia-Pacific region, demand for Mercedes-Benz models has never been as strong as in December and in the full year. Sales there grew last year by a quarter to 615,325 units. The biggest growth market was China, where Mercedes-Benz launched more than 15 new or updated models and expanded the dealer network to approximately 500 dealerships last year. Local production capacities were also expanded. In addition to the C- and E-Class, the two SUV models GLA and GLC started to be produced in China last year. For the first time, China is the biggest sales market for Mercedes-Benz. With 373,459 vehicles sold, an increase of 32.6%, unit sales in 2015 were significantly higher than ever before. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was boosted in 2015 also by sales in South Korea (+26.8%), India (+32.4%) and Malaysia (+56.5%), where new records were set. In Japan, the region’s second-largest market, more cars were sold than ever before (64,989 units, +7.1%). In 2015, Mercedes-Benz was the premium brand with the most new registrations in Japan, Australia and Taiwan.
Sales records in the NAFTA region
In the NAFTA region, new sales records were set in December and in the full year as a result of the best-ever unit sales in the USA, Canada and Mexico. 38,557 cars were handed over to customers in the last month of the year (+2.1%), and sales in the full year increased to 392,843 units (+5.2%). From January to December, sales in the USA grew to 343,088 units (+3.8%). And in Canada, Mercedes-Benz was the market leader amongst the premium manufacturers in 2015.
Ongoing successful path for new compact cars: more than half a million units sold
The compact cars, comprising the A- and B-Class, the CLA, the CLA Shooting Brake and the GLA, achieved new best figures in both December and the full year. A total of 582,531 customers decided in favour of a Mercedes-Benz compact car in 2015, which is 25.8% more than in the previous year. The models are particularly popular in the home market of Mercedes-Benz. Nearly every fifth compact car went to customers in Germany last year.
Continuation of C-Class as the best-selling model
The full availability of the C-Class Saloon and Estate models in all core markets and of further motorizations created additional sales impetus in 2015, so that unit sales surpassed the prior-year number by 40.1% (443,909 units). More C-Class vehicles were delivered to customers than ever before in one year. Growth in the C-Class segment will be further boosted in 2016 by the new C-Class Coupé, which has been on the market since December.
E-Class long-wheelbase version especially popular
A total of 232,453 units of the E-Class Saloon and Estate were sold in 2015. The long-wheelbase version of the E-Class was particularly popular in China, where sales of this model increased to the new record of 58,286 units. The new E-Class will have its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in a few days’ time. With the world’s most intelligent business saloon car, Mercedes-Benz is taking a further important step along the path to accident-free and autonomous driving.
S-Class once again the world’s best-selling luxury saloon
With six versions of the new-generation S-Class now presented, Mercedes-Benz continued its product offensive in the luxury segment in 2015. Last year, the S-Class was once again the world’s best-selling luxury saloon. About a third of all S-Class vehicles were sold in China in 2015. Approximately 500 units of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which was launched in February, were delivered to customers each month in China alone.
Successful “Year of the SUVs”
In the “Year of the SUVs,” the Mercedes-Benz brand launched four new or updated models, thus renewing nearly its entire range of sport utility vehicles. Unit sales of SUVs in 2015 surpassed the prior-year figure by 26.6% and rose to the record number of 525,866 vehicles. The top sellers were the GLC and the GLA, with unit sales almost doubling. The successor to the GL, the new GLS model, will be at dealerships as of March 2016.
V-Class: double-digit growth in first full year of sales
The V-Class – a car for up to eight people – has redefined the segment of multipurpose vehicles. In its first full year on the market, unit sales increased by 26.2% to 31,499 units. With new equipment possibilities available since last year, Mercedes-Benz is offering its customers even more flexibility for the individual configuration of their V-Class.
Record year for Mercedes-AMG
Mercedes-AMG can look back on a record year 2015: With 68,875 units sold (+44.6%), the sports-car and high-performance brand of Mercedes-Benz reached a new peak last year. This means that its unit sales have more than doubled in the past two years. In addition to the new AMG sports models launched in 2015, the growth drivers include the high-performance models of the C-Class and the compact cars. The new and independently developed Mercedes-AMG GT was also very popular with customers. The strongest sales markets for AMG automobiles were the USA, Germany and China.
New smart generation available in all core markets
119,398 smart vehicles were sold in the past twelve months (+32.9%). The fortwo and forfour models were especially popular in smart’s two biggest European markets, Germany and Italy. Furthermore, unit sales doubled in Great Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland. Now that the new generation has been available in the important markets of China and the USA since last summer, the smart brand will launch more models of the small city car than ever before in 2016: Customers can look forward to the new smart fortwo cabrio this spring. In summer, the new sporty BRABUS models of the fortwo and forfour with more powerful engines will be in the showrooms. And they will be followed at the end of the year by fully electric versions of the two-seater and four-seater and of the smart forth cabrio.
The compact two-seater has proven its attractiveness also at car2go. With more than 14,000 smart fortwo vehicles, car2go is the world’s biggest car-sharing-company and the market leader in the segment of station-independent car sharing. Meanwhile, a car2go rental begins every 1.4 seconds at one of the 31 locations in Europe and North America. The changeover of the car2go fleet to the new smart generation started in the first locations in the fourth quarter of last year.
“Best Customer Experience” – opening of additional Mercedes me Stores and start of “She’s Mercedes”
With its “Best Customer Experience” marketing and sales strategy, Mercedes-Benz has been focusing directly on its customer wishes since 2013, and addresses people in their own life situations with specially tailored offers. In this context, the brand is increasingly applying digitalization in its sales formats. The Mercedes me Stores are a significant component of the strategy. They have an urban format with numerous digital features and a modern catering and event concept that appeals to young and new target groups. In 2015, four more Mercedes me Stores opened in Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Munich.
“Best Customer Experience” is an important element of the “Mercedes-Benz 2020” strategy, which is continually being expanded with new concepts for addressing customers on an individual basis. In 2015, the Stuttgart-based brand with the three-pointed star began an initiative to focus more than previously on women’s needs and wishes. The goal is to establish Mercedes-Benz by 2020 as the most attractive luxury automobile brand also for women, and to significantly increase the proportion of female customers. This initiative includes the new “She’s Mercedes” community and inspiration platform (www.mercedes.me/she), as well as networking events for women, special training for sales employees and more female sales staff. In parallel with “She’s Mercedes,” Mercedes-Benz has developed the completely new lifestyle configurator as a supplement to the existing configurator. This allows customers to specify their individual preferences for furniture, holiday destinations, types of sport etc., and then suggests a car for them on that basis.
Source: Daimler AG