“Following the record figures achieved in 2012, our sales for January represent a strong start to the new year,” said Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We are optimistic about 2013, although we need to be prepared for market volatility particularly in Western Europe over the months to come. We see growth potential especially in North America as well as in Japan, China and Russia.”
The company expects various new products to provide further momentum especially from mid-2013. Dr Schmidt: “With the new E-Class family and the new S-Class we are launching our model initiative for the high-end and luxury segment in 2013. Our compact four-door coupe, the CLA, was met with an enthusiastic response when we presented it in Detroit a few weeks ago.”
In the NAFTA region last year's extremely positive sales trend has continued. In its currently largest market, the US, Mercedes-Benz delivered 22,501 vehicles (+10.8%) to customers in January, thus reaching record levels and clearly outperforming the market for premium vehicles. It also achieved record sales in Mexico, up by 32.6%.
China (incl. Hong Kong) achieved a new sales record in January, with 16,695 units delivered (+15.4%). Mercedes-Benz also had a highly positive start to the year in the Asia/Pacific region (+15.9%), Japan (+9.8%) and Russia (+26.6%).
Contrary to the strongly declining total market in Germany (-8.6%), sales of Mercedes-Benz last month was on the previous year’s level (12,541 u., -0.7%). With this Mercedes-Benz secured once again the market leadership in Germany and gained significant market share. Also in Western Europe (excluding Germany), the brand asserted its position against the market trend by selling 22,331 vehicles, a gain of 3.5%. The increase in sales was particularly strong in the United Kingdom (+8.9%) and France (+17.5%).
The new compact cars from Mercedes-Benz continue to perform well. Last year, the A-Class celebrated the most successful market introduction in the company’s history and more B-Class vehicles have been sold than ever before with a gain of 51.2% (145.649 u.). The previous record set in 2006 was thus outdone by 11.4%. This trend continues in 2013. In January a total of 20,587 new A-Class and B-Class cars have been handed over to customers. Sales therefore rose by more than a half to reach a record high level (+58.5%). The popularity of these cars was confirmed by the award of the A-Class “Gelber Engel” (Yellow Angel): Just recently the members of the General German Automobile Association (ADAC) voted it the most popular car of the Germans. Only a few months before the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class family, the current models remain popular: Of the sedan alone, 13,448 units have been delivered to customers in January (+4.8%). In the S-Class segment Mercedes-Benz sold 5,310 cars last month (January 2012: 5,826 u.) despite the fact that the luxury sedan is also about to undergo a model change-over this year. The Mercedes-Benz SUVs put in another excellent performance, achieving record sales of 24,228 units in January (+33.3%). The main drivers of growth were the GLK (+41.5%), the GL (+24.7%) and the G-Class (+78.7%).
Now in its seventh year, the smart fortwo remains a highly popular car, with sales of the two-seater in January amounting to 7,285 cars (January 2012: 7,605 u.). This compact urban runabout generated particularly encouraging growth in the domestic market and in China (incl. Hong Kong). Also the smart electric drive saw strong demand. In 2012, more than 1,000 electric smart have been produced and delivered to customers. Thus smart was market leader in 2012 among the all battery-electric passenger cars in Germany.
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