Mercedes Nov. sales up 5% as U.S. demand offsets China drop
FRANKFURT -- Daimler said vehicle sales at its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit rose 5.3 percent to 128,768 in November compared with the same month a year earlier, as rising U.S. volumes offset a decline in China.
Global sales of Mercedes cars were up 5.7 percent to 120,346 while volume at the automaker's Smart microcar brand fell by 0.5 percent to 8,422 units.
Mercedes sales chief Joachim Schmidt said November sales were a record for the automaker and the company is on course to make 2012 "the biggest-selling year in company history so far."
In the United States, Mercedes' biggest single market, monthly sales were up 13.1 percent to 30,315, adding to an 12 percent rise to 245,910 over 11 months. Mercedes is currently the best-selling premium brand in the United States, with a slender lead over rival BMW.
Sales in China, a key growth market for premium brands, fell 6.6 percent last month to 16,876. Sales through November rose 4.2 percent to 177,301. Mercedes continues to trail rival premium brands BMW and Audi, which are growing far more rapidly in China.
In western Europe, Mercedes' November sales rose 3 percent to 47,327. In the first 11 months, demand increased 1 percent to 507,602.
In Germany, the brand's No. 2 market, monthly sales were 24,365, a rise of just 0.2 percent. Deliveries through November rose just over half a percent to 238,393.
In October, Daimler scrapped profit targets for next year due to toughening market conditions and lowered its 2012 earnings forecast by 11 percent to 8 billion euros ($10.4 billion), after a previous target of matching last year's 9 billion euros.
Reuters contributed to this report