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DaimlerChrysler Mercedes Car Group sales fell 4% in April from a year earlier, dragged down by an aging product line.

Reuters said the 102,800 units sold last month meant the luxury unit of Daimler suffered a 4.1% sales decrease to 376,800 units in the first four months of the year compared with January to April 2003.

Optimistic Daimler said new products would ensure a pick-up in sales, the report added.

“The successful model launches of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the new SLK and the smart forfour will provide an important stimulus for vehicle sales in the second half that will overcompensate for the decrease in the first six months,” the company statement cited by Reuters said.

While sales of its smart brand compact and mini cars gained 9.6% to 11,300 units in April, its key Mercedes-Benz luxury brand saw a decline of 5.4% to 91,500 vehicles, the report added.

Western Europe, excluding Germany was the region that performed the worst for Mercedes – sales tumbled 8.9% to 34,900 units, Reuters said, noting that the group said it saw positive signs of delivery growth in Germany and the United States.

Due to the launch of Smart’s third model line, the forfour compact, at the end of April, the group is forecasting a considerable rise in unit sales for the brand, the news agency added.