Mercedes-Benz posted its strongest-ever sales month in September delivering 162,746 vehicles, an increase of nearly 14% over the same month a year ago.

July to September sales of 412,018 units is also the strongest quarter in the company's history and it has also sold almost 1.2m vehicles to date in 2014.

Ola Källenius, board member for marketing and sales, said: "The growth drivers were our compact cars and the S-Class. With the new S 500 plug-in hybrid available since the end of September, we are offering our customers an ultra-modern hybrid drive concept and up to 2017, we will introduce nine more plug-in hybrid models."

In Europe Mercedes delivered 534,263, an increase of 7.6% over last year with strong performances in the UK, up 15% and Spain, up 26.6%. At home in Germany, where the market has been weakening, the brand managed a small, 0.1% rise.

Sales in the NAFTA region rose 8% to 264,171 units in the first nine months with 233,211 deliveries in the US - a new record as well as a new high for September with 27,315 sales.

In China, sales grew to a new record high of 203,485 vehicles, up 30.5% and a new nine-month sales record has been posted in South Korea, where the company sold 26,557 vehicles.

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