In March, Mercedes-Benz Cars delivered 110,400 (March 2008: 131,500) Mercedes-Benz, AMG, smart, and Maybach brand vehicles to customers worldwide, which represents a 16% decline. Mercedes-Benz sold 98,500 (March 2008: 119,400) cars in March, an 18% decline. Despite the continuing difficult situation on the automotive markets, and the E-Class model changeover, sales of Mercedes-Benz Cars in March were up from the previous month’s total. The division also posted an increase in incoming orders compared to the numbers for January and February of this year.
January- March 2009
– of which Germany
– of which U.S.
– of which Japan
– of which China
Dr. Klaus Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Orders for the E-class sedan in Germanyin the first quarter of this year were more than double the number posted in the same period in 2008. We had already received about 50,000 orders for the new E-Class sedan by its market launch at the end of March.”
In the first quarter of the year, customers bought 28,800 (same period 2008: 28,900) models of the smart fortwo, a result that matches last year’s record level of sales of the two-seater. In the United States the smart fortwo continues to be very popular, and 4,900 (same period 2008: 3,500) units of the car were sold in the first quarter, an increase of 42 percent. Following its successful start in the United States, the smart fortwo will be introduced this month in China.
In Germany in recent weeks Mercedes-Benz Cars records positive momentum, particularly in the compact car segment and regarding one year old pre-owned vehicles. There was a substantial increase in orders for the A-Class and B-Class, for example. In March about 3,400 (March 2008: 2,700) smart fortwo cars were delivered in Germany, an increase of 25 percent.
Mercedes-Benz posted record-setting sales in China in March, with deliveries up 42 percent to 5,400 units (March 2008: 3,800). In the U.S., Mercedes-Benz succeeded in increasing its market shares in March, selling 15,600 (March 2008: 20,800) passenger cars (minus 25 percent) despite the sharply declining market (minus 37 percent). In the SUV segment in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz performed much better than its premium-segment competitors. And Mercedes-Benz also gained market shares this month in Canada, where it is the strongest-selling premium brand, posting record growth of 26 percent and 2,200 units sold (March 2008: 1,700).
In March 6,800 (March 2008: 6,700) customers opted to buy a C-Class estate, an increase of two percent. Sales of the CLC sports coupe also developed positively in March, climbing by 43 percent to 2,100 (March 2008: 1,500 units) units sold. One year after its model update, the SL-Class premium roadster also continues to be a customers’ favorite. Sales of the model were at the level reached in the same period last year , with 2.000 units sold in the first quarter 2009. The S-Class maintained its position as the market leader in its segment, despite the impending model changeover.
This month Mercedes-Benz is presenting the first two hybrid models from Mercedes-Benz: The ML 450 HYBRID, which was specially conceived for the U.S.market, is making its debut at the New York International Auto Show. It delivers fuel savings of up to 60 percent compared to a V8 gasoline engine with nearly the same power output, making it the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its segment. At the Shanghai Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the new S-Class generation and the S 400 HYBRID, which is not only the first series-production Mercedes-Benz passenger car with a hybrid drive but also the CO2 champion in the luxury class.