Mercedes-Benz Cars Reach All-Time High with Sales of 1,362,908 Units in 2011

Dr. Dieter Zetsche:
“We’re very satisfied with our sales development. In 2011 we sold more vehicles than ever before.”
“In 2012 we will consequently continue our product offensive and launch additional attractive vehicles on the market, which will give us a further boost.”
Record sales in China and many other markets; outstanding development in the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz remains strongest premium brand in Germany
C-Class sedan is the top seller in its segment
smart sales pass the 100,000 mark

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In 2011 Mercedes-Benz Cars sold more vehicles than ever before in a single year. A total of 1,362,908 vehicles of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach have been delivered to customers – around 77,000 units more than in the previous record set in 2007 (1,285,900 units).

2011 was also the best sales year in the history of the brand Mercedes-Benz. With 1,260,912 units sold and an increase of 8.0% compared to the prior year the previous sales record of 2007 (1,185,200 units) was clearly exceeded. Since the beginning of the year sales of the brand with the star have been up every month. Particularly successful was the sales development in the fourth quarter. 341,624 delivered units made it the best-selling quarter in the company’s history. In December alone, worldwide deliveries rose by 15.1% to 124,387 vehicles despite the very good result achieved already in December 2010. Thus last month, more vehicles were sold than ever before in this period.

“We’re very satisfied with our sales development. In 2011 we sold more vehicles than ever before,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “We also set the course for the future: The newly introduced generation of the C-Class, the C-Class coupe, the SLK, and the CLS are extremely popular among customers. The same applies to the new B-Class and new M-Class, which were introduced in Europe only recently. The full-year 2011 was also shaped by our strong development in important growth markets such as the BRIC countries and positive development in the U.S.”

Positive outlook for 2012 – new models to provide additional momentum

The year 2012 provides a good base to pursue last year’s success. Dr. Zetsche: “In 2012 we will consequently continue our product offensive and launch additional attractive vehicles on the market, which will give us a further boost. The vehicles will be spearheaded by the new A-Class, which will allow the brand to reach out more strongly to younger target groups. The new CLS Shooting Brake will underscore our leading role when it comes to innovative vehicle concepts and design.”

The new SL will also celebrate its market launch in 2012 just in time for the model series’ 60th anniversary. After the successful introduction of the new M-Class in 2011, additional demand will be generated in the SUV segment by the new GL, the new generations of the GLK and the time-honored G-Class.

Once again sales record in China, Russia, and India; dynamic development in Brazil

Mercedes-Benz continued to do outstandingly well in China (including Hong Kong) last year, where the brand surpassed its sales record of 2010 by 30.6%. The brand therefore substantially exceeded its full-year target of increasing sales in China by at least 20%. A total of 193,339 customers opted for a vehicle bearing the Mercedes star. In December alone, 23,227 people purchased a new Mercedes-Benz passenger car (+29.5%).

Over the past twelve months, Mercedes-Benz did also well in all other BRIC countries. The previous year’s record sales were substantially exceeded in both Russia (29,058 units; +47.3%) and India (7,089 units; +22.7%). In Brazil the brand built on the dynamic development of 2010, boosting sales by 35.3% in full-year 2011, to 10,197 vehicles. Summed up, Mercedes-Benz therefore reported a sales increase of 32.4% in the BRIC-countries in 2011.

Over the past twelve months, Mercedes-Benz also saw sales rise to all-time highs among others in Taiwan (+31.7%), South Korea (+18.8%), Mexico (+17.7%), Denmark (+15.0%), and Sweden (+12.2%). The development in Japan is also notable. Despite the strong earthquake in March and the serious consequences for the country, Mercedes-Benz sold 7.1% more vehicles in Japan last year (32,405 units) than in 2010.

Outstanding development in the U.S.; record sales in Canada and the entire NAFTA region

As in 2010, Mercedes-Benz posted double-digit growth in the U.S. and grew faster than the total market. From January to December 2011, sales rose by 13.3% to 245,231 units. Thus the United States were once again the brand’s second-largest market. Driven by the new generation of the C-Class and the new M-Class, sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles rose to 25,701 units in December (+27.9%). In Canada a total of 28,584 (+1.8%) vehicles with the Mercedes star were sold during 2011. Following the record set in 2010, this result represents a new all-time high. Mercedes-Benz also achieved a record result in the entire NAFTA region in 2011, with sales amounting to 279,946 vehicles (+12.2%).

Mercedes-Benz leads Germany’s premium segment in 2011

In Germany Mercedes-Benz has been the Number One automaker in the premium segment since 1993. Despite the sometimes limited availability of the high-volume A- and B-Class due to the changeover of production to the new models, the brand’s sales in its home market totaled 262,256 vehicles in 2011, which was almost as high as in the previous year (2010: 265,000 units). In December sales of the brand with the star rose by 16.8% (25,290 units). In Western Europe (excluding Germany) deliveries also nearly matched the previous year’s level (2010: 291,853 units) at 289,285 units in the past twelve months. A sales increase was recorded among others in the UK (+10.1%).

New generation of the C-Class with outstanding customer response – sedan model leader in its segment

In 2011 the C-Class confirmed the vehicle’s standing as a very successful model also with its new generation. In the C-Class segment, Mercedes-Benz recorded growth of 16.8% over the past twelve months to 401,340 units. Very popular and once again the most successful model in its segment during the year as a whole was the C-Class sedan. A total of 270,968 units were delivered to customers (+8.1%). In the year of the facelift, deliveries of the
C-Class estate rose to a new all-time high of 76,446 vehicles (+21.6%). Demand for the new C-Class coupe has also been very high ever since the vehicle was launched on the market last June. To date, 23,698 units of the sporty coupe have been delivered to customers. The SLK also did well last year, with 26,756 customers buying one of the roadsters from January through December 2011. This corresponds to an increase of 85.7%.

E-Class segment attains new record result in 2011

Following the record sales of the previous year, sales in the E-Class segment rose by 4.7% in 2011 to a new all-time high (338,386 units). Deliveries of the E-Class sedan and estate totaled 244,341 units last year (2010: 252,775 units). 32,533 customers opted to buy the CLS model, which was introduced in January 2011 (+210.4%).

Sales of S-Class sedan surpass previous year’s high level

Despite having to face much younger competitor models, the S-Class sedan once again increased sales compared to the prior year. Since the car’s market launch in 2005 more than 440,000 units of the brand’s flagship vehicle have been sold. Sales of the CL also rose, with deliveries increasing by 6.9%. The SLS AMG has also met with a great response from customers. More than 5,000 units of the super sports car have already been sold since the vehicle was launched on the market in March 2010.

At more than 200 units, sales of the high-end luxury sedan Maybach were higher than in each of the two previous years.

SUVs post monthly record sales from January through December

The SUVs from Mercedes-Benz enjoyed another great year in 2011. They achieved new sales records each month from January through December, enabling them to surpass last year’s record figure by 24.0% (248,574 units). More customers decided to buy a GLK than ever before in a single year (93,836 units; +24.0%). The compact SUV is also popular in China, where it has been produced for the local market since early December. All other model series did very well throughout the world in 2011, increasing sales substantially compared to the previous year. Sales of the R-Class rose by 45.5%, while those of the G-Class increased by 28.3%. The GL boosted sales by 28.2%, and deliveries of the M-Class increased by 17.9% despite the model changeover.

B-Class does well during phase-out

In spite of production changes resulting from the B-Class model changeover and the associated limited availability of A- and B-Class models, Mercedes-Benz sold 194,133 units in this segment last year (2010: 222,373 units). Sales of the B-Class even continued to increase until shortly before the new model was launched on the market.

Sales of smart fortwo pass 100,000 mark

The smart fortwo did extremely well in 2011. Sales passed the target of 100,000 units, rising to 101,996 vehicles (+4.6%). Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “The development of the smart fortwo last year by far exceeded our expectations. Also for 2012, all lights are on green. The third generation of the smart fortwo electric drive and the smart ebike are two genuine highlights that will be introduced in the coming twelve months. We expect them to give the brand another boost.” In full-year 2011 the innovative two-seater was especially popular in China (including Hong Kong), where a total of 11,045 buyers drove home from the dealership in a smart fortwo (2010: 3,900 units). The smart fortwo also posted very high growth rates in other countries, including Mexico (+57.1%), Poland (+50.7%), the Czech Republic (+26.6%), and Taiwan (+21.4%). In Germany the smart fortwo defended its segment leadership throughout the year, with customers buying a total of 29,005 units (+3.3%). More than 1.5 million units of the brand have been sold since the first generation of the compact urban vehicle was introduced on the market in 1998.

About Daimler

The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. 125 years later, in anniversary year 2011, Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility. The Group applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. With the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only vehicle producer investing in all three technologies of hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel cells, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, the world’s most valuable automotive brand, Daimler’s brand portfolio includes smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In the year 2010, the Daimler Group sold 1.9 million vehicles and employed a workforce of more than 260,000 people; revenue totaled €97.8 billion and EBIT amounted to €7.3 billion.