Mercedes' June sales growth slowest this year
June sales of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars grew at the slowest monthly rate so far this year.
The automaker said global sales for its premium brand rose 0.9 percent to 121,542 last month. Six-month sales rose 6.9 percent to 652,924, a record for the carmaker.
"Over the next few months, the market launch of the new A class in particular will provide a further boost to sales. This means we are well on track this year to surpassing the 2011 sales record," said Mercedes sales chief Joachim Schmidt in a statement on Wednesday.
In an interview published by Autogazette on Thursday, Schmidt had blamed weak sales in China, relative to larger rivals BMW and Audi, on temporary factors such as model changeovers and a current lack of local production.
Chinese sales last month totaled 16,857 units, up 3.6 percent. Sales in the first six months rose 7.8 percent to 99,391.
Schmidt also said that Mercedes would begin catching up to the other brands once its new large volume compact family, which includes its A- and B-class models, were rolled out in sufficient numbers.
Previously, Mercedes brand sales rose by 5.1 percent in January, 20.3 percent in February, 11.0 percent in March, 3.6 percent in April and 4.0 percent in May.
Strong markets for the automaker in June included the United States, where sales rose 7.6 percent to 22,231, making Mercedes the best-selling premium brand in the market. Six-month sales rose 15.9 percent to 128,595.
In Mercedes' home market Germany, sales fell 2.9 percent last month, but since the beginning of the year they rose 4.5 percent to 128,529.
Six-month sales of the brand also rose significantly in Russia and Japan by 27.6 percent and 27.5 percent respectively, Mercedes said.
Total monthly sales in western European fell 4.3 percent to 54,598, while six-month registrations rose 2.6 percent to 284,087.
June sales for Mercedes Benz Cars, which includes the Smart brand, rose 0.2 percent to 131,139, while six-month sales rose 6.5 percent to 708,517.
Sales of Smart cars dropped 7 percent last month to 9,597, but rose 1.4 percent in six months to 55,593.
Reuters contributed to this reportContact Automotive News