After the first half of 2019, Mercedes-Benz claimed continued leadership of premium car brands "in a highly competitive environment worldwide" despite its recent an ongoing model changeovers.

Deliveries fell 4.6% year on year to 1,134,729 cars due to ongoing SUV model changes which account for the largest volume.

Second quarter sales fell 3.5% to 573,856.

June volume was off 3.7% to 196,230 units.

"After a challenging first half of the year, Mercedes-Benz continues to be at the top of the premium segment. We are particularly pleased with the great popularity of the new compact models. In the third quarter, we anticipate sales momentum from the new SUVs," said sales chief Britta Seeger.

New GLC and GLC Coupe models launch this month and Seeger said the line had been the highest-volume SUV model for several years.

H1 sales in Europe fell 4% to 457,595 vehicles with German domestic market volume down 2.7% to  147,351 and off 6.2% to 24,033 in June.

June sales increased in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Russia, Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark and Mercedes-Benz claimed new H1 records in France, Spain, Poland and Denmark.

Asia-Pacific region H1 volume dipped 3.1% to 478,254 cars as sales rose 1.3% to 344,657 in China, the region's core market. June deliveries inched up 0.1% month on month to 57,018. Sales in South Korea rose 2.1% last month and a H1 record was achieved in Vietnam.

NAFTA region June sales fell 4.1% to 30,808 vehicles with United States volume flat at 26,196 cars. Half year sales fell 7.2% to 147,396.

Compact car sales rose 4.2% in the first half of 2019 to 313,000 A- and B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA units. June sales rose 13.7% to 57,000. Demand for the new A-Class rose 47% in June while the new CLA Coupe saw 66.6% growth in Europe in the second month after launch there.

With model changes, SUV sales in the first six months fell 13.3% to 367,000 units.

First half Smart sales fell 8.1% to 60,318 units though Europe volume increased 0.6%.