Mercedes's A-, B- and CLA-class compact cars amounted to 36,132 sales in October, a 73 percent surge from the year- earlier month. Along with its growing compact-vehicle lineup, Mercedes started deliveries in April of a revamped E class, which competes with BMW's 5 series and Audi's A6. Sales of E- and CLS-class models jumped 21 percent to 29,294 cars last month, Mercedes said.
A new version of the S class, the most expensive Mercedes sedan, came to market in July. The automaker has more than 30,000 orders for the revamped flagship model, Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber said on Oct. 24.
"Our record sales in October have provided us with a strong start to the fourth quarter, and we have further increased our market share," Ola Kaellenius, Mercedes sales chief, said in the company's Nov. 6 statement. "We will continue to rigorously pursue our path of growth."
The three companies are focusing on adding sales in growing auto markets outside Europe to make up for a sixth straight drop in annual industrywide sales in their home region. In addition to expanding production in China, the world's biggest automotive market, they're also taking steps to begin vehicle assembly in Brazil to tap into an increasing number of affluent consumers in South America's biggest economy.
Mercedes will start assembling the C class and GLA models at a new plant in Iracemapolis, Brazil, in 2016. The move will follow BMW's production start next year in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina at a plant with capacity to build least 30,000 vehicles annually.
BMW began selling the 4 series, which shares underpinnings with its best-selling 3-series, in September. A new generation of the X5 SUV, built at BMW's plant Spartanburg, South Carolina, is entering dealerships this month. Delivery growth at BMW in the 10 months through October was buoyed by the X1 SUV, the 3 series and the 6-series luxury coupe, the company said today.
"We remain on track with a new all-time high in sales in October and in the first 10 months, despite the continued headwinds in some European markets," Ian Robertson, BMW's head of sales and marketing, said in a statement. "We are confident that sales will continue to develop positively until the end of the year and we will continue to strive for profitable growth."
Audi plans on further gains after the A3 sedan reached the European market in September. The division, the largest contributor to group earnings at parent Volkswagen Group, will begin selling the model in China in the second quarter of 2014. Audi predicts that the car will be the most popular variant of the A3 line, which also includes hatchback and convertible models. A3 sales jumped 33 percent last month, Audi said on Nov. 8.