Five generations down the road since launch (initially as the 190 sedan) in 1982, Mercedes-Benz has sold over eight million saloon and estate/wagon C-class cars.

Over 250,000 current generation models have been sold since launch in 2014 and the model remains the brand’s top seller.

“With the all-new C-Class, launched last year, we continue a success story that spans more than 30 years, with no end in sight,” said Mercedes cars sales and marketing head Ola Källenius.

“Worldwide sales of more than eight million speak to the tremendous appeal of this model line.”

The C-Class nameplate was introduced in May 1993 and the estate/wagon models made their debut in 1996. The Sports Coupe appeared as part of a new generation range in 2000 and nose styling that varied with trim and equipment levels was introduced in 2007 – the Elegance had the three-pointed star in its traditional position on the bonnet but the Avantgarde had the badge in the centre of the grille.

In the first three months of 2015, sales rose 57.8% year on year to 109,050 units and Mercedes claimed global segment leadership for April.

The saloon is popular in the US and China while the estate sells particularly well in Europe – two of three buyers in Germany opted for the load hauler last month.

The C300 4Matic (4WD) is the top-selling saloon and attracts “above-average” demand in the US, Mercedes said. The C220 BlueTEC is also popular for its fuel economy.

In China, the C 200L, a specially developed, locally-made, long wheelbase, saloon variant (competing with Audi’s A4L and BMW’s 3-Series L), is the best selling model.

The latest C-Class was the first Mercedes-Benz to be produced concurrently on four continents. Within just six months last year, production began in Bremen followed by East London, South Africa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Beijing.