Global sales of Mercedes-Benz cars rose 12.3% on the year in April to 102,100 vehicles, driven by rising demand in China and the United States.

Sales chief Joachim Schmidt said: “In line with the sales development, our incoming orders have increased significantly as well. Our products are very popular with customers and we grew at a double-digit rate in nearly all markets.

“It’s a great start into the second quarter during which we plan to substantially boost sales. There is particularly high demand in China and the US and the E- and S-Class have been very successful.”

In China Mercedes-Benz posted a new sales record of 11,300 units in April versus 5,600 in the same month a year ago. Within the Asia-Pacific region, deliveries rose by 26% in Japan and by 36% in Australia.

Mercedes-Benz volume also grew at a double-digit rate in the BRIC countries of India (95%), Brazil (77%), and Russia (50%).

In the US, sales jumped 21% to 17,600 units, up from 14,600 in April 2009, making Mercedes-Benz the top selling German premium brand in the country.

In western Europe – excluding Germany – it sold 24,200 passenger vehicles, up 6% from 23,000 in April last year. There was also good growth in the UK, up 12%, Belgium, up 14% and Austria which increased sales by 27%.

In its home market, Mercedes sales held up as the market fell, selling 21,600 units, down from 22,100 a year ago, but representing an increase in market share.

Smart deleivered 9,000 Fortwo models worldwide in April, down 11% on a year ago, although the company said it expects sales of that brand to get a boost from the launch of the new generation Fortwo in the third quarter of this year.

A new alliance with Daimler is expected to help expand the Smart line with additional models in coming years. Smart added roadster, coupe and four-seat hatchback models – the latter developed and built in a JV with sometime partner Mitsubishi – some years ago but volume never met expectations and all but the original two-seat Fortwo were subsequently dropped.