Mercedes-Benz reported a new sales record for the first half of the year, with 652,924 vehicles sold in the first six months, up 6.9% from the same period last year. The growth in sales was driven by a recovering US market, up almost 16% from the same six-month period a year ago, according to the company.
The company said that in June, there were 121,542 units sales, which was slightly above the previous year’s record level (+0.9%).
According to the company, the first two quarters of 2012 also witnessed the highest-volume sales for the Mercedes-Benz Cars division in the company’s history.
During the first six months of the year, the company sold 708,517 units (+6.5%) of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Maybach, with the month of June accounting for 131,139 of these vehicle sales (+0.2%).
Commenting on the sales, Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, said that “Despite difficult market conditions in Southern Europe, we remain on course for record sales, and with a growth in sales of 6.9 percent in the first half of the year we have achieved the best sales results so far. Over the next few months, the market launch of the new A-Class in particular will provide a further boost to sales. This means we are well on track this year to surpassing the 2011 sales record. Also in June, Mercedes-Benz sales were slightly above previous year’s high level.”
According to Schmidt, ”The strongest driver of the positive trend in Mercedes-Benz sales in the first six months of the year was the U.S. market, where the company posted a new record with 128,595 passenger cars delivered (+15.9%). This makes Mercedes-Benz the premium brand with the highest number of new vehicle registrations in 2012.”
Besides the U.S., there were also “extremely positive trends” in the other NAFTA region markets, the company said, adding that new sales records were set for the year to date in Canada (15,944 u., +9.9%) as well as in Mexico (3,431 u.; +28.1%).
Besides the NAFTA region markets, Mercedes-Benz also sold more vehicles between January and June than ever before in China (including Hong Kong) as well as in Russia. A total of 99,391 units (+7.8%) were delivered to customers in the Chinese market, while in Russia the growth in sales was 27.6%. The brand with the star also performed strongly in Japan, where sales for the first half of the year were up by 27.5%. Thus, Mercedes-Benz ranks number one among premium manufacturers on the Japanese market.
In Germany, Mercedes-Benz has been the most successful premium brand concerning new vehicle registrations since the beginning of the year. Over this period, the company has sold 128,529 passenger cars (+4.5%) on the domestic market.
In the western European region (without Germany), Mercedes-Benz in the first half of the year sold a total of 155,555 units in the face of declining market trends, and thus gained market shares. Despite the difficult market conditions, sales were therefore on previous year’s level (+1.1%). The brand continued to sell exceptionally well in the United Kingdom, where a new sales record was set with an increase in sales of 11.4%. The same applies to Switzerland, with a growth in sales of 35.9% for the first half of the year.
According to the company, the B-Class remains a top seller among the different model series. More vehicles were sold in the month of June and over the first half of the year than ever before in these periods. Last month alone, the growth in sales was 42.9% (14,629 u.), while 68,950 units (+9.7%) have been sold since the beginning of the year.
The vehicles from the C-Class segment were also key growth drivers in the first half of the year, with a growth in sales of 14.9%. Additionally, the C-Class models celebrated a sales jubilee in June: as of last month, more than two million customers are enjoying driving a sedan, estate, or coupe model from the new model series. Furthermore, the C-Class coupe and the SLK were the top-selling vehicles in their segments in the first half of 2012.
In the E-Class segment, the CLS scored top marks with strong sales figures. Between January and June, deliveries of the four-door coupe increased by 38.9%. Therefore, the CLS also topped sales in its competitive segment. The same is true for the S-Class sedan, which also posted higher sales figures in the first half of the year. Since the start of the year, 37,539 units of the brand’s flagship model have been sold (+4.4%). Thus, as in the previous year, the S-Class once again was the top-selling model in its segment.
Meanwhile, the new SL is still generating a very positive response from customers, the company said. Sales of the sporty roadster rose by +78.7% in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year.Mercedes-Benz SUVs remain on the track to success. The record sales figures from 2011 were surpassed both for June and for the first six months of the year. Results were supported by high growth in sales, for example with the M-Class (+32.7%), the G-Class (+18.5%), and the GL-Class (+7.2%). Last Friday saw the market launch of the next-generation GLK. This model series and the new G-Class, which will be launched in the next few months, as well as the completely new GL-Class, will positively influence brand sales even further over the rest of the year.
In the company’s opinion, smart is still on track to maintaining its good sales level from last year. A total of 55,593 units (+1.4%) of the city runabout were handed over to customers in the first half of 2012, with the figure for June at 9,597 vehicles. The innovative two-seater achieved a particularly strong growth in sales between January and June in the U.S. (+85.8%), China (including Hong Kong) (+59.3%), and Mexico (+23.9%). At the same time, the sales figures in China and Mexico set new records for the first 2012 half-year. Another notable development was the increase in sales of the smart fortwo last month in the U.S., where shipments of the model more than tripled (+208.2%).