Mercedes' June sales rise 8% on compact surge

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FRANKFURT -- Daimler said Friday that sales of its Mercedes-Benz brand rose 8 percent to 142,136 in June thanks to strong demand for its compact models.

The carmaker's six-month deliveries rose 13 percent to 783,520, the highest first-half sales ever achieved by the company, putting it on track to post strong full-year sales.

"With the unit sales of our vehicles, we are on track to make 2014 into yet another record year," Ola Kaellenius, Mercedes' sales boss, said in a statement.

Deliveries of the carmaker’s compact vehicles rose 24 percent in the first half to 215,205, the carmaker said. Next year, Mercedes will extend its current four-car compact range with the CLA shooting brake.

Global sales are expected to receive a further boost when the next-generation C class, the company's best-selling model, hits showrooms in China and North America in September.

Mercedes' deliveries in China rose 38 percent to 135,972 in the first six months, while in Mercedes' No. 1 market, the United States, sales rose 7 percent to 151,624. In Europe, the brand's gains reflected a modest overall rebound in the market as sales rose 7 percent to 352,198. In its biggest European market Germany, Mercedes’ sales rose just over half of 1 percent to 125,215 in the same period.

Sales of Daimler's Smart brand dropped 17 percent last month to 7,335. Through June, the minicar brand sold 46,816, a drop of 10 percent.

In total, Mercedes-Benz Cars, which includes Smart, sold 149,471 vehicles last month, a rise of 6 percent. Six-month sales rose 11 percent to 830,336.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who has a goal for Mercedes to pass Audi and BMW and become the world's biggest maker of luxury cars by 2020, is rolling out 30 new vehicles by the end of the decade, a dozen of which will have no predecessor.

Last year, Mercedes brand sold 1.46 million cars, behind Audi with 1.58 million and No. 1 global premium sales leader BMW brand with 1.66 million.

Reuters contributed to this report

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