Following record sales in the previous year, Mercedes-Benz Cars has once again posted an annual record in 2012 as well as the highest December sales to date.

Over the past twelve months, 1,423,835 customers chose a vehicle of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach. The previous year’s sales volumes were thus exceeded by 4.5% or 60,901 units. Also Mercedes-Benz achieved a new sales record in 2012. From January through December, a total of 1,320,097 vehicles of the core brand were sold.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “We are very pleased with our sales for the full year 2012. Despite the difficult market environment in the southern European countries and numerous model change-overs, we managed to exceed the previous year’s sales record. Our new models in particular were received extremely well by our customers. From the B-Class, more vehicles were sold in 2012 than ever before in a single year, the A-Class got off to a sensational start and our new SUVs are also enjoying lasting popularity.”

Product initiative will be continued
The company expects the positive trend to continue in the next year. Dr. Zetsche adds: “With our product initiative in the premium segment, we will consistently pursue our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy in 2013. With the new S-Class, the new E-Class but also the new CLA, we will present our customers a complete series of fascinating product highlights. In addition, our new A-Class will also be available in many additional markets. All of this will continue to provide us with momentum in the upcoming months.”

Record sales in all NAFTA countries
As in the past two years, Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. once again posted double-digit growth in sales in 2012 (+11.8%). With 274,134 vehicles sold, the company secured a new sales record. In addition, the U.S. replaced Germany as the brand’s biggest market. Mercedes-Benz also posted new sales records for the full year 2012 in Mexico and Canada, the other countries of the NAFTA region. At 30,106 units, sales in Canada were 5.3% higher than the previous year’s record. In Mexico, the 2011 sales high was even topped by 21.5%.

China, Russia and Middle East region with new sales records; Japan with high growth rates
Despite limited availability of the GLK due to the production break at BBAC lasting several weeks during the first half of the year and the successive introduction of the new B-Class beginning only in August, Mercedes-Benz posted a new sales record in China (incl. Hong Kong) (196,211 u., +1.5%) also in 2012. The company also posted a sales record in South Korea and Australia, where sales increased by 6.5% respectively 5.4% for the full year. In Russia, Mercedes-Benz achieved the best year of sales since market entrance with a double-digit growth in 2012.

In the Middle East region, customer response was also excellent in the full year 2012. Sales here grew by 16.8%, posting a new sales record.

Sales in Japan have demonstrated very dynamic growth in the past twelve months. No other importer of premium vehicles delivered more vehicles to customers than Mercedes-Benz. With 40,488 units sold, the previous year’s level was exceeded by 24.9%.

Mercedes-Benz with highest number of new vehicle registrations in Germany for the past 20 years; sales up in Western Europe Mercedes-Benz has now been the premium brand with the highest number of new vehicle registrations in Germany for the past 20 years. At 261,084 units, sales in the domestic market last year were on the high level of the previous year (-0.4%) despite the model change of the high volume A-Class model. In Western Europe (without Germany), 2012 was characterized by the difficult market environment in Southern Europe. Still Mercedes-Benz was able to top the sales volumes of the previous year (293,713 u.; +1.5%) due to the favourable customer response to the new models and CO2 optimized engines. Customer demand in the UK (+10.5%), Switzerland (+21.1%) and France (+5.8%) showed a particularly positive trend. In the southern European markets of Italy, Spain and Portugal, the brand with the star performed significantly better than the respective total markets, thus gaining additional market shares.

New compacts received extremely well by customers – record sales for the new B-Class
The new B-Class celebrated a resounding success in its first full year of availability. Never before more vehicles have been sold than in 2012 (145,649 u.). The previous record set in 2006 was thus outdone by 11.4%. Compared to the previous year, growth was actually 51.2%. With the increased availability of the new A-Class, sales of the young compacts continue to gain momentum. Since its sales release, over 90,000 orders have already been recorded for the vehicle.

C-Class segment continues to grow
After posting double-digit growth in the previous year, Mercedes-Benz again posted a significant increase in sales in the C-Class segment (413,193 u.) with 3.0% in the 2012 reporting year. The C-Class coupe performed particularly well over the past twelve months. With 48,145 buyers in 2012, plus 77.3% chose the sporty two-door model compared to the previous year. The SLK was once again popular from January through December. With 31,809 new cars delivered, the roadster’s sales volume increased by 18.9%. Both the C-Class coupe and the SLK were also the highest selling vehicles in their respective segments in 2012.

CLS with strong sales performance in the E-Class segment
In the year before the market launch of the new E-Class, 225,521 vehicles of the sedan and the estate were sold (previous year: 244,341 u.). In total, 310,408 new vehicles of the E-Class segment were sold (previous year: 338,386 u.). The CLS was the top performing model in the E-Class segment in 2012 and was also the front runner in its competitive segment. In October, an entirely new vehicle concept celebrated its premiere with the CLS Shooting Brake, once again highlighting the leading role of Mercedes-Benz in the field of design. Overall, 36,825 units (+13.2%) of the four-door coupe were sold.

S-Class again best-selling luxury sedan in the world
Even in the year before its model change-over, the S-Class sedan was once again the most sought-after vehicle in its segment with 65,128 units sold (previous year: 68,969 u.). In the S-Class segment, the new SL was also particularly popular with customers over the past twelve months. In total, sales of the sporty roadster more than tripled.

In the last year of its availability, the Maybach was very popular with the customers. Overall, 234 luxury models were delivered to new owners, 12.0% more than in the previous year.

A success story continues – Mercedes-Benz SUVs post another record year
After the SUVs from Mercedes-Benz had already stormed from one sales record to the next in 2011, the previous year’s record sales volume was topped again by 16.6% (289,960 u.) in 2012. Thus, one in five Mercedes-Benz cars sold last year was an SUV. Mainly responsible for this trend was the new M-Class, which increased its sales by almost one third (115,608 u.; +29.8%) and the facelifted GLK (109,813 u.; +17.0%). From January to December, the M-Class was even the highest selling vehicle in its competitive class. In 2012, the facelifted G-Class was also popular. With a 35.8% increase in sales, more G-Class vehicles were sold than ever before in a single calendar year.

Mercedes-Benz AMG posts new sales record
As in the past years, the sales volume of Mercedes-Benz AMG also developed favourably in 2012. With over 24,500 units sold, over 30% more customers opted for a performance vehicle than in the previous year. In the scope of the AMG Performance 50 growth strategy, AMG plans to increase sales to approximately 30,000 vehicles by 2017, thus continuing to hold the top position in this refined and exclusive segment.

smart fortwo again surpasses 100,000 milestone
Last year, 103,738 customers chose a new smart fortwo. With this, the previous year’s outstanding sales volumes were not only met but exceeded by 1.7%. Dr. Zetsche: “The smart fortwo has once again managed to exceed our expectations, surpassing the milestone of 100,000 vehicles sold despite the difficult market environment in Southern Europe.” Over the last twelve months, the micro compact car performed particularly well primarily in the U.S. (+92.2%), China (incl. Hong Kong) (+43.8%) and Canada (+29.0%).

Source: Daimler AG