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.June 09, 2004
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Mercedes Car Group: New Generation C Class and New SLK Roadster Off to a Dazzling Start in Europe

  • 30,000 orders already received for smart forfour in Western Europe

  • With 2,600 vehicles sold in May, the SLK sets a new record in Germany

  • E-Class dominates the upper-range segment: Sales of 122,300 units worldwide through May 2004
     

     

 

SLK roadster

Photo: DC

Stuttgart - In the first five months of 2004, Mercedes Car Group's worldwide sales totaled 479,100 passenger cars (same period in 2003: 501,600). In May of this year, 102,300 Mercedes-Benz and smart cars were delivered to customers, about six percent fewer than in May 2003. When adjusted for the number of working days, this figure reached the sales level for the same month last year.

The smart brand is an important source of growth in the Mercedes Car Group. Available on the market in Europe since the end of April, the new smart forfour four-seater has been particularly in demand and will contribute to an increase in sales for 2004 as a whole. At the end of May there were already 30,000 orders for the four-seater - more than half of the sales volume planned for 2004. With the expansion of the smart brand product range to three model series, sales in May 2004 climbed by a total of 28 percent to 12,800 units. Through May, 48,600 cars were delivered to customers, 14 percent more than in the first five months of 2003. Sales in Germany continue to develop positively, registering an increase of 16 percent to 16,600 passenger cars through May of this year.

In the first five months of 2004, Mercedes-Benz posted a six-percent decrease in unit sales to 430,500 passenger cars (same period in 2003: 459,100), due primarily to the changeover of models. In May, 89,500 cars were delivered to customers worldwide (May 2003: 98,600). "Within a few weeks of their market launch in Western Europe, the new generation C Class sedan and the new SLK have become the market leaders in their respective segments," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, member of the Mercedes Car Group Divisional Board with responsibility for sales and marketing. "The successful market launches at Mercedes-Benz and the thoroughly positive response to the new smart forfour make us very confident that 2004 as a whole will close with higher sales in the Mercedes Car Group."

Against the background of a declining passenger car market in Germany, customers took delivery of 135,800 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars through the end of May (through May 2003: 145,100). Here too, the new generation C Class and the new SLK achieved clear growth in becoming the market leaders in their segments in May. With 2,600 units sold, the SLK established a new record in Germany.

Sales developments at Mercedes-Benz are also very encouraging in the new EU member states. With sales of 3,700 passenger cars in these countries through May of this year, the company registered an increase of three percent over the same period last year. As the strongest sales market in Eastern Europe, Poland strongly contributed to this success with sales growth of more than 30 percent to 1,500 units.

In the U.S., Mercedes-Benz delivered a total of 85,700 cars to customers in the first five months of 2004 (same period last year: 88,700). And with 23,400 sedans sold, demand for the C Class in particular continues to set a record pace. In the luxury segment, the SL Class is continuing to build on its market-leading position, as sales increased by 32 percent to 6,300 roadsters. The E Class also registered further growth in the U.S. (22,900 passenger cars, up five percent), substantially contributing to Mercedes-Benz' worldwide market-leading position in the upper-range segment. Through May, 122,300 E Class vehicles were sold to customers around the world, which corresponds to a 35 percent share of the global market.

In the Asia-Pacific region, 36,900 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars were sold through May of this year, nearly matching the record level of 2003. In Japan - the largest market in Asia - Mercedes-Benz sold 16,500 passenger cars in the first five months, more than all of the other manufacturers of premium-class automobiles. And in the growth market in China, Mercedes-Benz continued to gain momentum in the first five months of the year, with sales increasing by 60 percent to 4,400 passenger cars.

Overview of Mercedes Car Group Sales

 

In May 2004

Change in %

January-May 2004

Change in %

Mercedes Car Group worldwide

102,300

- 5.8

479,100

- 4.5

of those, Mercedes-Benz

89,500

- 9.2

430,500

- 6.2

             smart

12,800

+ 27.5

48,600

+ 14.4

         

Mercedes Car Group

 

 

 

 

Western Europe (excl. Germany)

35,300

- 4.4

168,900

- 4.5

Germany

34,900

- 5.7

152,400

- 4.5

United States*

18,100

- 5.4

85,700

- 3,4

Asia/Pacific

6,500

- 15.6

38,200

- 2.6

         Mercedes-Benz passenger cars

(Jun 04, 2004)


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