The Mercedes Car Group (MCG) sold 82,000 Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart brand passenger vehicles worldwide in February 2007, compared to 83,800 units sold in the same month last year, a decrease of 2.1%.

Most of the decline came from a reduction in Smart sales as the old Fortwo model is being phased out. However, Mercedes Car Group says it has taken 30,000 orders for the new model in the seven weeks since the car became available for ordering.

In the first two months of the year, MCG sales totalled 159,700 vehicles (up from 156,500 units in the previous year). Mercedes-Benz sold 78,000 passenger vehicles in February worldwide, posting an increase of three percent compared to the same month last year (76,100 units). The number of vehicles delivered to customers in the first two months of 2007 rose by eight% to the total of 151,500 units (same period last year: 140,600 units).

Mercedes is also suffering from a 16% downturn in the German car market in response to the introduction of a new higher rate of VAT from the beginning of the new year. However it outperformed the market with sales down just 2.8% in the first two months.

Mercedes said the new C-Class sedan is registering an extremely positive reception in the market, even ahead of its official market launch on March 31, 2007. Around 55,000 orders have been placed for the new model in Western Europe. Sales of the current C-Class sports coupe were particularly strong in February (1,900 units), a 26% increase from the result posted in the same month in 2006.

The E-Class also registered strong growth in February. Sales of the upper-range model series totaled 17,000 units, up 18% compared to last year.

Sales of the A-Class and B-Class models also continue to be robust, reaching a new record with 36,600 deliveries in the first two months of this year.

The increase in the first two months of this year was supported by growth in all regions. In the United States, sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in January and February of this year were up 15% from the same period last year, reaching a record total of 34,400 units. Mercedes-Benz also set a sales record in the Asia/Pacific region, with sales there climbing by 11% to 20,200 units in the first two months of 2007. In Western Europe, sales through February increased by four percent from the same period last year, to 81,600 units.