by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Record March Sales Of 23,134 Bring Mercedes-Benz USA To Highest First Quarter Ever At 61,513

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported a record March with sales of 23,134 for its Mercedes-Benz models, a 7.7 % improvement over March 2011 leading to the highest first quarter volume on record with sales of 61,513, up 15.3%. Combined sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, smart and Sprinter for the month totaled 25,508, up 13.1%, and for the year-to-date 66,906, up 19.5 %.

“With the combination of strong sales performance in our volume model lines and a whole new generation of Mercedes-Benz products in the pipeline, we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the strengthening market and take the brand to new places,” said Steve Cannon, president and CEO of MBUSA.

Sales for the month of March were led by the C-, E-, and M-Class model lines. The sporty C-Class – the gateway to the Mercedes-Benz brand on the car side for younger and first-time Mercedes-Benz buyers – took the lead with sales of 6,342 and the 9th generation E-Class followed with sales of 5,570. MBUSA’s top-selling SUV, the M-Class, rounded out the top three with sales of 4,070 up 45.8% compared to March 2011. Other strong performers were the company’s popular new CLS four-door coupe which saw 242.9% growth and the SLK roadster which increased 179.3% over March 2011.

The SLS AMG supercar retailed 123 for the month, up 20.6%.

On a year-to-date basis, top performers again were the C-Class with 18,107 (up 19.2%) the E-Class with 13,873 and the M-Class with 11,480 (up 59.4%).

Amidst rising gas prices, diesel sales increased to 1,601, up 55.6% over the same period last year (1,029) and up 65.4% for the year. On the other end of the spectrum, total AMG sales were 702, up 77.3% versus March 2011 (396) and up 62.2% for the year.

The company’s smart brand continued five consecutive months of sales increases with March sales of 999 vehicles, a 135% jump for the month (compared to the 425 vehicles sold in March 2011). The March volume is the highest on record for smart since MBUSA assumed responsibility in July 2011 and brings the year-to-date volume to 2,264, up 79 percent.

On the van side, sales of Sprinter Vans also saw strong momentum in March with sales of 1,375 – up 29.5% over last year and up 18.1% on a year-to-date basis.

Separately, through the Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) program, MBUSA sold 6,994 vehicles in March; a -3.3% decrease when compared to March 2011 (sales of 7,236 vehicles). On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 19,924 vehicles, an increase of 2.0% over the comparable period (with sales of 19,538).

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