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DaimlerChrysler: Mercedes Car Group, Stuttgart, Germany

Photos: Mercedes Benz  & MCC

The Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars & smart division is the world's leading manufacturer of premium passenger cars. Its products attract customers through innovative engineering, safety, comfort, emotional appeal and pioneering design.

The brand recognition is high; in 2000 the Interbrand rating agency named Mercedes-Benz as the top premium automobile brand worldwide. The design of Mercedes-Benz cars aims to give visible, trend-setting shape to the company's innovative strengths, while continuing the great tradition of the brand Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes Car Group 2006:

The Mercedes Car Group division, comprising the brands Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, smart, Mercedes-Benz AMG and Mercedes-Benz McLaren, sold 1,251,800 vehicles in 2006 (2005: 1,216,800).

Revenues of $72.0 billion were 9 percent higher than the prior year’s level.

The Mercedes Car Group achieved an operating profit of $3,187 million in 2006, compared with an operating loss of $666 million in the prior year. The results of both years were significantly affected by special items. There were expenses of $1,248 million in connection with the discontinuation of production of the smart forfour in 2006, while the realignment of the smart business model in 2005 resulted in charges of $1,466 million. Charges relating to staff reductions at Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars in the context of the CORE program decreased to $377 million in 2006 (2005: $752 million). Additional special items with effects on the results of both years are shown in the table at the end of this release.


The substantial increase in the division’s operating profit is due in particular to the efficiency improvements achieved in the context of the CORE program. Other positive factors were the higher unit sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the improved model mix due to the launch of the new S-Class as well as the M- and GL-Class models. A negative impact on operating profit in 2006 resulted from currency effects.

The Mercedes-Benz brand increased unit sales in the year under review by 5 percent to 1,149,100 vehicles. As a result, the brand was able to boost its market share in key regions, despite tougher competition. This positive result was primarily due to the very successful new model launches in 2005, particularly of the new S-Class, which went on sale in the United States in February 2006.

Like the new CL- and GL-Class models, the updated E- and SL-Class vehicles launched in 2006 were also very well received by the market and contributed to the Mercedes-Benz brand’s success in the year under review. On October 15, 2006, the division launched the E320 BLUETEC — the world’s cleanest diesel passenger car — in the United States and Canada.

The extensive measures being implemented to further improve the quality of DaimlerChrysler’s vehicles are having very positive effects. This claim is supported by internal analyses and many external studies. The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study 2006 concluded that the Mercedes-Benz brand has a positive trend in the category of initial quality. Improvements were achieved in nearly all of the issues that were addressed in last year’s study (IQS 2005).

Unit sales of the smart brand totaled 102,700 vehicles in the year under review (2005: 124,300). Unit sales of the smart fortwo developed especially well throughout the year, with the model’s production volume once again exceeding the planned target in the vehicle’s ninth year of production. More than 750,000 smart fortwos have been sold since the vehicle’s market launch. Despite an increase in production at the beginning of the year, nearly all smart fortwo models built had been sold by the end of 2006. Sales of the last smart roadsters and smart forfour models proceeded according to plan; nearly all remaining stocks of these vehicles had been sold by the end of the year under review.

In November 2006, smart unveiled the new smart fortwo, which will be launched in Europe in April 2007. Starting in 2008, the new smart fortwo will also be available in the United States, which has become a promising market for smart due to increasing traffic volumes and rising fuel prices. The second-largest automobile retail organization in the United States — the UnitedAuto Group — will act as the exclusive importer of smart brand vehicles.




2006: Mercedes Car Group increases 2006 sales to record 1,260,600 passenger vehicles

Global sales of the Mercedes Car Group developed very positively in 2006, with a three percent increase of Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart passenger vehicles to the record level of 1,260,600 units (2005: 1,221,000). In 2006, Mercedes-Benz celebrated the most successful year in its history: Worldwide deliveries of vehicles rose seven percent to the record level of 1,148,500 units (2005: 1,078,000). This growth outpaced by far that of the global automotive market in 2006.

Despite more intense competition, Mercedes-Benz was able to increase its market share in all key regions. In the U.S., Mercedes-Benz once again significantly outperformed the premium market as a whole and recorded its 13th consecutive annual sales increase, with deliveries rising 11 percent to a record 248,100 passenger vehicles.

The brand with the star was also particularly successful in the Asia-Pacific region, where DaimlerChrysler delivered 126,200 Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, an increase of 11 percent from the prior year. Mercedes-Benz sales in Japan also rose 11 percent this year, to 47,800 units, and sales in the growth market of China (including Hong Kong) increased by 33 percent, to 21,100 units (2005: 15,800 units).

Sales of Mercedes-Benz in Western Europe increased by four percent to 685,200 passenger vehicles in 2006. Sales in Germany rose slightly from 319,900 units in 2005 to 324,000 units this year, enabling Mercedes Benz to maintain its position as Germany’s best-selling premium brand.

2003: Mercedes-Benz posts new sales records outside Germany

Mercedes-Benz sold about 1,091,500 passenger cars in 2003 (previous year 1,110,000 passenger cars). Despite this small decrease of 1.7 percent, Mercedes Benz remained the world’s leading premium brand with an unchanged global market share of 2.5 percent. ”In 2003, we more than held our own in a declining market climate,” says Prof. Jürgen Hubbert, Member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG, responsible for the Mercedes Car Group.

2001: In the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars and smart Division, Revenues exceeded the record level of the previous year by around 7%, presumably reaching over € 46 billion. A total of approx. 1.225 million vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands were sold, thus exceeding the high figure of the previous year by a further 6%.

In 2001 the smart brand established itself in its segment. Against the previous year, sales increased by 8% to over 110,000 units. For the first time, Revenues totalled approx. € 1 billion.

2000: In 2000 the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars & smart division was able to increase unit sales and revenues in nearly all important markets in 2000. Revenues set a new record of €43.7 billion (1999: €38.1 billion). Worldwide unit sales of passenger cars, SUVs and smart City coupes rose to 1,154,900 (1999: 1,080,300). Adjusted for one-time effects, operating profit increased by 6% to a new high of €2.9 billion. However, including the one-time effect of establishing an accrual for recycling end-of-life vehicles in the EU and one-time costs associated with repositioning of the smart brand, operating profit was below the high level of the previous year.

Mercedes-Benz Products 1997


Production Volume 1997




Rastadt, Germany



Sindelfingen, Germany



Sindelfingen, Germany



Tuscalloosa, U.S.



Sindelfingen, Germany

Smart (MCC)

not yet started

Hambach, France

Source: DaimlerChrysler


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