Daimler has said it expects first quarter vehicle sales to grow significantly after it sold 16.6% more cars in the first two months of 2011 than a year earlier.

“After a strong start into the new year, our sales continued to develop positively in February,” Mercedes-Benz sales chief Joachim Schmidt said in a statement cited by Reuters.

The company said it was on track to reach its full year target of record vehicle sales this year, exceeding the 2007 level of 1.293m.

In February, unit sales were up 10.0%, with a 10.3% increase in sales of Mercedes-Benz while Smart sales rose 6.6%.