Daimler AG says its core Mercedes-Benz brand saw car sales increase by nearly 13% in year-on-year terms, overtaking Lexus as the best-selling luxury automaker for the first quarter of 2011.
According to the Mercedes-Benz, company sold a total of 118,357 passenger vehicles in March (March 2010: 109,882 units).
The best-selling models in the lineup were the C- and E-Klasse (6,542, up 8.9 percent over March 2010 and 6,107, up 21.1 percent, respectively). But perhaps the most surprising achievement was that of the Sprinter line of vans, which represented an increase of over 175.1 percent with the 1,062 units sold.
The launch of the new SLK convertible and a revamped C-class will further boost sales in the second quarter, Daimler said.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Our sales were very good in the first quarter and once again rose at a double-digit rate. We also want to achieve year-on-year growth in the second quarter, for which we will particularly benefit from the new generation of the high-volume C-Class and the new SLK.”
Lexus sales rose 2.3 percent to 20,682 from a year ago while Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)’s namesake brand reported a 12 percent gain to 20,295.
March’s results combined with January and February make Mercedes the leader for the year so far by 729 sales over BMW and 5,990 over Lexus.