U.S. rescues Mercedes in May as China, Europe car sales disappoint
FRANKFURT -- Strong demand in the United States helped Mercedes-Benz post record car sales in May despite a slowdown in its European home market and a slowdown in China.
Global sales, including the Smart brand, were up 3 percent to 122,600 compared with May 2011, Mercedes said on Tuesday. Mercedes brand sales were up 4 percent to 113,136 while Smart was down 7 percent to 9,464.
U.S. sales increased 19 percent to 22,515 last month, offsetting a drop of 3 percent to 49,036 in western Europe, including a 4 percent decline in Germany. In China, sales rose slightly by 1 percent to 16,539.
Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes sales and marketing chief, said: "We are on track to meet our target of selling more vehicles in 2012 than ever before in a single year and therefore to grow stronger than the market."
In the first five months, Mercedes global sales increased 8 percent to 577,378, the earliest this threshold has been passed in a year, Schmidt said. Mercedes brand sales grew 8 percent to 531,382 while Smart sales were up 3 percent to 45,996.
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