Mercedes-Benz has started 2012 with record sales for the month of January. The brand sold a total of 86,921 units worldwide, thus exceeding the previous year’s record by another 5.1%.

Sales in the Mercedes-Benz Cars division also reached a new high in January by handing over 94,526 passenger cars of the Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach brands to customers (+5.8%). Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars: “We continued the positive development from the record year 2011 in January and started successfully into the new year. We intend to maintain this pace over the coming months and are expecting substantial sales growth in the first quarter. The new B-Class in particular is getting an excellent response from customers. The imminent production start-up in Kecskemét means that we will have even more vehicles at our disposal, which will allow us to even better accommodate the high demand.”

In addition to the B-Class, in 2012, the company is expecting further tailwind among others from the sustained high demand in the C-Class segment, continued growth in SUV sales and the launch of the new A-Class and the CLS Shooting Brake.

Dr. Schmidt continued, “This year, we want to exceed our record sales from 2011 and once again plan to achieve the best year in the company’s history.”

In the USA Mercedes-Benz achieved a very strong start into the year with record sales in January. With 20,306 units sold, sales increased by 23.8%. Thus, Mercedes-Benz was the most successful premium brand in January in the U.S. The brand also enjoyed a very positive performance in Canada, where it was the market leader in the premium segment in January. After record sales in the full year 2011, deliveries in January reached a new monthly high with1,773 units (+26.5%). Mercedes-Benz repeated this success in Mexico (+22.4%) and the entire NAFTA region, where the brand increased its sales by 24.0% in January to 22,660 units.

Mercedes-Benz also started with an excellent performance into the new year in its home market. With brand sales of 12,627 vehicles, corresponding a growth of 14.0%, Mercedes-Benz underlined its position as the strongest premium brand in Germany as it did in 2011 as a whole. This development was driven in particular by the high demand for the new B-Class, which led its segment in the new vehicle registration statistics of Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in January. At 21,578 units, Mercedes-Benz’ sales in Western Europe (excluding Germany) were over previous year’s level (+1.4%).

Due to the excellent sales performance in December 2011 as well as the capacity expansion at BBAC and the associated production downtime, in China some models were just partially available in January. Overall sales (incl. Hong Kong) totaled 14,463 units (-7.0%). As in full-year 2011, Mercedes-Benz generated record sales in the growth markets Russia (+41.7%) and India (+17.0%).

The S-Class sedan was the best-selling vehicle in its segment in 2011. In January, the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz brand developed excellently, too. A total of 5,302 units (+0.4%) were delivered to customers. Also a very positive start to the year saw the C-Class sedan. With 18,235 units sold, deliveries were up 4.3% compared to the first month of the previous year. On the road to success is also the C-Class estate, whose sales in January rose by 10.8%.

The new B-Class also enjoyed a strong January with sales rising by 7.8%. The company expects to see a further sales boost over the coming months with the first of a total of five new compact models. From the second quarter, the B-Class will be fully available in other markets as a result of the additional production in Kecskemét.

Among the SUVs, the new M-Class (+15.2%), the G-Class (+17.1%), and the GL-Class (+9.6%) enjoyed especially positive development. There was even more reason for the new M-Class to celebrate at the start of the year: It was chosen best in its category within the “Best Cars of 2012” awards voted by readers of the German car magazine “auto, motor und sport”. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class took second place.
The smart fortwo started the year with a brilliant increase in its January sales by 13.7% to a total of 7,605 vehicles. Once again, the two-seater was particularly successful in China (incl. Hong Kong), where 1,464 vehicles were handed over to customers. Sales in the U.S. also developed very positively, rising by 38.5% compared to the same period of the previous year. The smart fortwo also enjoyed increased demand in the UK (+52.8%), Spain (+47.4%), and Mexico (+9.0%). In 2012, the smart will get further positive momentum from two highlights: the smart ebike and the third generation of the smart fortwo electric drive.

Source: Daimler AG