DaimlerChrysler already has orders for more than 50,000 of its fully redesigned Mercedes A-class compact cars in western Europe, meaning it has reached the sales target for 2004, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

In Germany alone, the largest A-class market, customers have ordered 32,000 cars, DaimlerChrysler reportedly said.

"We are more than satisfied with the order intake for the new A-class," Joachim Schmidt, the Mercedes Car Group executive responsible for sales and marketing, told AP. "Even before the presentation to dealerships, the planned annual [volume] of 50,000 units has been sold."

AP said the five-door A-class will be in European dealerships from September 10, while a three-door version follows a few weeks later.

The Associated Press noted that Mercedes is at the beginning of a new model offensive. By the end of 2005, it will have launched fully redesigned versions of the A-class, the S-class luxury sedan and M-class SUV.