Mercedes-Benz continued the positive sales development of the previous two months, increasing March sales 11% to 109,300 vehicles. The brand delivered 15% more vehicles to customers in the first quarter of 2010 than a year ago.
Sales and marketing chief Joachim Schmidt said: “Thanks to the increasing success of the new E- and S-Class we were also able to further improve our sales mix. We will continue this positive sales trend in the coming weeks, and we anticipate another significant sales increase in the second quarter” primarily through growth in key markets such as the US and China, as well as the launch of new models.
A new E-Class convertible was launched on 27 March as the first SLS AMG vehicles were delivered to customers. The next generation R-Class will be launched in the US in August, in western Europe in September, and in China, its biggest market, in October.
Mercedes-Benz’ sales were up in all regions in the first quarter, but most notably in China (incl Hongkong), where deliveries totalled a record 24,100 units (Q1 2009: 11,800), an increase of 105% claimed to be the highest recorded by any premium manufacturer in there.
The brand also boosted its Chinese sales 57% in March to 8,500 units and also posted gains in March in Japan (18%), Australia (14%), and South Korea (95%). The brand also did well in the other BRIC countries India (21%), Brazil (40%), and Russia (40%).
Sales in the US rose 22% to 49,200 passenger vehicles in the first three months of the year, making the brand the highest-volume German premium manufacturer in the country. It also claimed to have been top German premium brand in the US since the beginning of the year. March US sales rose 26% to 19,600 units while sales in Canada climbed 24% in March to a record 2,700 units.
Deliveries in Western Europe (excluding Germany) rose 7% to 70,300 units in the first quarter and March sales rose 4% to 34,000. M-B saw growth in the UK (15%), Spain (24%), Belgium (23%), the Netherlands (25%), Switzerland (7%), Portugal (67%), and Sweden (67%) but, though it gained market share at home in Germany in March, unit sales were off 4% to 25,000.
Worldwide sales of the E-class nearly doubled to 45,700 units in the first quarter of 2010. S-Class sales were up 23% to 13,500 units and C-Class sedan volume rose 10% to 57,000 vehicle. SUV sales increased 12% to 41,100 units.
Smart sales fell 11% to 10,600 last month but Mercedes expects sales to rebound after the new generation Fortwo is introduced in the third quarter of 2010.
The Smart range is expected to expand again following the announcement on Wednesday of an alliance between Daimler, Renault and Nissan.