Mercedes-Benz, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury vehicles, made sales gains against second-place Audi AG last year as its compact cars won new customers.

The German automaker said it increased sales by 11.2 % in December to 139,180 luxury cars, the automaker’s best-ever result for that month, citing growth in all major markets. Full-year deliveries for 2013 were up 10.7 % at record 1.46 million cars.

The deliveries surged more than 11% thanks mainly to the 64 % increase in demand for the compact models; and that compares with an 8.3 % sales increase that Volkswagen AG’s Audi division posted yesterday –with sales at 1.57 million.

“We look back on the best year of the Mercedes-Benz brand,” Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche. “Our growth strategy is working,” with market-share gains in the U.S. and Europe.

Sales growth at Mercedes marked the biggest gain since 2010 when deliveries increased 15 %. The delivery gap with Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi narrowed to about 113,800 vehicles last year from 135,026 in 2012.

Mercedes said it expects further momentum to sales this year from new models including the new C-Class and the GLA compact sport-utility vehicle, both hitting showrooms this spring.

Via Bloomberg, Reuters


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