Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz started the year marking the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile with a successful month in January. Worldwide sales of the brand with the star were up 23 percent, marking another double-digit increase. A total of 82,700 vehicles were delivered last month (January 2010: 67,000). Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: “January was a great month for Mercedes-Benz, and it marks an outstanding start to the new year. We were able to post the best January sales result ever and continue the positive development of the preceding months. We recorded double-digit increases in our three major markets of Germany, the U.S. and China, and we also experienced rapid growth in many other markets.”
The company expects further sales momentum through the launch of numerous new products in 2011. The product offensive kicked off with the new CLS, which hit dealership showrooms on January 10 and has met with a great customer response. The new SLK, which celebrated its world premiere last weekend and has been available for ordering since January 17, will add additional momentum. The model will be at the dealerships in Europe this spring.
“We will be building on this excellent start in the coming weeks and expect to see significant sales growth in the first quarter,” says Dr. Schmidt. “We have ambitious plans for 2011: Our goal is to surpass the sales record set in 2007 and achieve the best year in the company’s history.” Things will pick up further when the new-generation C-Class is introduced in spring, followed by the new C-Class coupe in summer, and the new M-Class and B-Class at the end of the year.
Mercedes-Benz was once again able to increase its market share in Germany last month and retain its position as the number one premium brand in the country. Deliveries of Mercedes-Benz vehicles rose by 20 percent to 11,100 units (January 2010: 9.300 units). In Western Europe, sales totaled 32,400 passenger cars, an increase of 18 percent. Increases were recorded for example in the UK (plus 59 percent), France (plus six percent), and Belgium (plus 25 percent).
Mercedes-Benz also continued its dynamic growth in China (including Hong Kong), where the brand once again set a new sales record by delivering 15,600 units, an increase of 87 percent from January 2010 (8,300 units). Mercedes-Benz thus remained the fastest-growing premium brand in China in the first month of the new year. Sales in January were also up in Japan (plus four percent), Australia (plus 21 percent), and Turkey (plus 55 percent). Records were set last month in the BRIC nations India (plus 14 percent) and Russia (plus 41 percent), while sales in Brazil also rose significantly (plus 60 percent).
Mercedes-Benz also got off to an outstanding start in the U.S., where passenger car sales rose by 11 percent to 16,400 units (January 2010: 14,700). Mercedes-Benz was thus the premium brand with the highest sales volume in the country.
In January, Mercedes-Benz recorded double-digit growth rates in all product segments – from the compact to the luxury class. The S-Class sedan continued its success story of the previous year, boosting sales by 24 percent to 5,300 units. The model is therefore once again the world’s best-selling vehicle in its comparative segment, despite having to compete with partly much younger model series of its competitors. The new CL also picked up speed in the luxury segment by posting a sales increase of 75 percent. Sales of E-Class models continued to develop positively, increasing by 18 percent to 22,700 units. The high-volume C-Class sedan and estate also kept up their solid performance just two months before the market launch of the new-generation models: Sales of these vehicles increased by 23 percent to 22,100 units. The A-Class and B-Class performed very well on the market in January. Deliveries rose by one-fourth to 12,300 units.
The facelifted smart fortwo was also very successful in January, when 6,700 units of the innovative two-seater were sold worldwide, an increase of 20 percent from January 2010 (5,600 units). This positive development was largely due to high growth rates in China, Germany and the U.S.