• Dr. Joachim Schmidt:
o “Following up on our record sales last year, we are also off to a highly successful start in 2012. To date we have recorded a new sales record in every month of this year and with 313,902 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold, we have set a new high for the first quarter. March was even the strongest sales month of the company’s history.”
o “Besides our excellent start to the year it is especially the great customer response on the new models which makes me very confident that we will achieve our goal to post a new sales record in 2012.”
• Record sales in the first quarter; outstanding development among others in Germany, Western Europe, USA, and China
• Mercedes-Benz gains market shares in numerous markets
• smart with dynamic development since beginning of the year
With its best monthly sales in the company’s history and the third record month in 2012, Mercedes-Benz has recorded the strongest first-quarter result ever. In March, sales rose by 11.0% to 131,334 units. Thus, since the start of the year, a total of 313,902 vehicles were delivered to customers, an increase of 11.9%. Moreover, the Stuttgart based car manufacturer managed to gain market shares in numerous markets.
In its Mercedes-Benz Cars division, the company sold as many vehicles as never before in a month and also set a new sales record in the first quarter. A total of 340,877 Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Maybach vehicles (+11.6%) were delivered, including 142,278 units (+9.8%) sold in March alone.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes Benz Cars: “Following up on our record sales last year, we are also off to a highly successful start in 2012. To date we have recorded a new sales record in every month of this year and with 313,902 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold, we have set a new high for the first quarter. March was even the strongest sales month of the company’s history. Besides our excellent start to the year it is especially the great customer response on the new models which makes me very confident that we will achieve our goal to post a new sales record in 2012. With the start of production of the new B-Class in Kecskemét last week, we will have even more vehicles available to better meet the high demand.”
The first quarter saw strong sales among others in the SUV segment. Dr. Schmidt continued: “Driven by the new M-Class, SUV sales developed excellently in the first quarter as they already did in full-year 2011. Tomorrow (April 4, 2012) for the first time we will present the completely new GL and the new generation of the GLK at New York International Auto Show. With our SUV offensive we will extend sales further in this segment.” Besides the GLK and GL also the SL 65 AMG has its world premiere at the auto show in New York.
In the whole NAFTA region deliveries have been very satisfying in the first quarter (70,259 units, +15.5%). In the first three months of the year, Mercedes-Benz set a new sales record in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Particularly noteworthy was the dynamic development in the U.S., where sales rose by 15.3% (61,513 units). Also in the month of March, the company achieved another sales record in the U.S.: 23,134 vehicles were delivered to customers (+7.7%).
The development of the Mercedes-Benz brand also had a successful first quarter in China (incl. Hong Kong). 51,328 customers (+19.5%) purchased a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle from January to March, setting a new sales record for this period. Record sales were also registered there in March (17,660 units, +16.1%).
In Russia and India, Mercedes-Benz also recorded its highest-ever sales for the first quarter and for the month of March. Since the beginning of the year, sales have climbed by 32.7% in Russia, and 6.9% in India. Sales development of Mercedes-Benz has been especially successful in Japan, where first-quarter sales grew by 44.0% compared to the same period last year.
In the first three months of 2012, Mercedes-Benz has enjoyed outstanding sales in Germany, with 56,552 units sold since the beginning of the year, an increase of 14.6%. Also in March, Mercedes-Benz successfully sustained its position on its home market with a growth rate of 10.5%, handing over a total of 25,932 vehicles. Thus, Mercedes-Benz is again the top-selling premium brand in the month of March as well as in the first quarter. Sales in the rest of the region of Western Europe also developed strongly in March and in the first quarter. From January to March the brand with the star increased its sales on the declining total market by 6.7% (78,135 units). During this period, demand for Mercedes-Benz was especially high in Switzerland (+37.3%), France (+29.0%), and Great Britain (+9.6%). In Great Britain as well as in Switzerland Mercedes-Benz posted new sales records in the first quarter.
Sales of Mercedes-Benz models have developed very dynamically since the start of the year, above all the models of the C-Class segment. Despite new competitors, sales rose by 27.0% to 99,660 units. The S-Class sedan also continues to enjoy strong demand. Since January, sales of the brand’s flagship rose by over a quarter (+27.5%, 21,507 units) compared to the previous year. The new B-Class received again excellent customer response, with more than 35,000 units sold since it was launched to the market in November. In the year of the introduction of its successor, the A-Class increased its sales by 17.0% (20,772 units) in the first quarter. The E-Class sedan and estate also continue to be popular, with a total of 57,980 units (+3.4%) delivered to customers. Mercedes-Benz SUVs were in continued demand with sales of 59,116 vehicles, which set yet another record, topping last year’s high for the same period. The greatest contributors to this success were the M-Class (+19.0%), the G-Class (+39.4%), posting a new sales record, and the GL-Class, whose sales put on by 9.9% shortly before the introduction of its successor.
The smart fortwo also joined in the success of the Mercedes-Benz models in the first quarter. Sales totalled 26,975 units, topping the previous year’s sales by 8.0%. Especially in China (incl. Hong Kong) demand for the innovative two-seater continues to be persistently high. The number of vehicles delivered since January has doubled (4,795 units, +105.1%), setting a new sales record. First-quarter sales of the smart fortwo were equally dynamic in the U.S. (+78.7%).