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Mercedes Posts Best Monthly Sales Ever With 13 Percent March Growth

Friday, 04 April 2014 06:14 AM

Mercedes-Benz, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury cars, sold more vehicles in a single month than ever before as demand for its new compact cars surged.

Deliveries rose 13 percent in March to 158,523 cars and sport-utility vehicles, contributing to the best first quarter in the brand’s history, the division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG said today in a statement.

Sales growth at Mercedes has exceeded 10 percent for nine consecutive months as the company has won buyers with expanded lineups of compacts and the up-market E-Class. The addition of 30 new models through 2020 is part of Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche’s push for Mercedes to retake the lead in global premium-auto sales by then from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Audi AG.

“Mercedes is growing at a brisk speed at the moment,” Frank Biller, a Stuttgart-based analyst at LBBW, said by phone. “This is a good basis to catch up with the competition. But I don’t expect BMW or Audi to post bad numbers for March either.”

Daimler rose as much as 1.6 percent to 70.94 euros and was up 1.3 percent at 70.69 euros as of 11:38 a.m. in Frankfurt. The stock, which has been trading this year at the highest since late 2007, has gained 12 percent in 2014, valuing the carmaker at 75.6 billion euros ($104 billion).

U.K. Jump

The carmaker is posting record sales as the European automotive market recovers from a six-year slump. Mercedes sales in the region rose 7.6 percent last month, pushed by a 20 percent surge in the U.K. that outpaced the country’s auto-market gain of 18 percent. Industrywide U.K. car sales in March at 464,824 deliveries were the most for the month since a record set in March 2004, the country’s SMMT manufacturers’ association said today.

Demand at Mercedes in the U.S. increased 11 percent in March to 27,401 vehicles.

Mercedes’s Chinese deliveries rose 48 percent in the first three months of 2014, helped by the extended-wheelbase version of the upscale E-Class. That compares with first-quarter Chinese sales gains reported today of 25 percent at Munich-based BMW and 21 percent at Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi. The two competitors are scheduled to report global sales for March next week.

Sales of compact Mercedes A-, B- CLA- and GLA-Class vehicles increased 26 percent in March to 43,349, with the GLA SUV just being introduced last month. Sales of the top-of-the-line S-Class doubled in the first quarter to 24,144 vehicles.

“We are continuing the success story of the record year 2013 with additional new products,” Ola Kaellenius, head of Mercedes sales, said in the statement. “We have been posting double-digit growth rates for sales in every month since the beginning of the year.”

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Mercedes-Benz, the world's third-largest maker of luxury cars, sold more vehicles in a single month than ever before as demand for its new compact cars surged.
Friday, 04 April 2014 06:14 AM
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