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Mercedes-Benz May global sales dip

By Graeme Roberts | 12 June 2019

Mercedes-Benz sales dipped 1.3% year on year last month to 195,690 vehicles worldwide as sales the new A-Class and CLA Coupe were offset by ongoing SUV model changes.

Year to date volume fell 4.7% to 938,499 units despite claims of ongoing premium segment market leadership in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

"Despite a challenging market environment and ongoing model changes, Mercedes-Benz increased its unit sales in many markets in May. We are very confident that the significant sales momentum from our model offensive will be reflected in the second half of the year, particularly with the SUVs," said marketing and sales chief Britta Seeger.

Europe sales actually rose in May by 0.9% to 81,762. Patriotic Germans boosted their market 5.9% to 27,806 cars, Spain sales were up 14.6% and growth was reported in the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal and Hungary.

Asia-Pacific region sales, however, slipped 2.2% to 77,694 cars though China, with local manufacture of many models, was off just 0.9% to 55,589 sales while year to date deliveries were 1.6% up to 287,639 units. Malaysia sales increased "at a double-digit rate" while new May records were in South Korea and Vietnam.

NAFTA sales fell 2.1% to 31,933 cars though US sales rose 0.4% to 27,080 and Mexican deliveries were up 3%.

By model, compact car sales increased for the third consecutive month, uo 10% to about 58,000 A- and B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA. Global sales of the A-Class alone increased by 41.1%, a year after launch.

May Smart sales fell 1.2% to 11,466 cars as German YTD volume rose 19.7% to record volume and May sales alone rose 33.4%.

This was a month after Daimler said it was yanking Smart completely from the US and two months after it struck a deal with Geely for a 50:50 joint venture based in China to develop and operate the brand globally as an all electric carmaker.