Mercedes-Benz auto sales for March hit levels the company has never posted before in a single month, as demand for its top-of-the-range S-Class and compact cars increased.
The automaker sold 158,523 cars and SUVs, with sales rising 13% to make the 2014 first quarter results the best since the brand’s inception, Daimler AG stated on Friday.
The company has seen sales growth rates above 10% for nine months in a row as buyers warm up to the high-end E-Class model and expanded compact cars.
“Mercedes is growing at a brisk speed at the moment. “This is a good basis to catch up with the competition. But I don’t expect BMW or Audi to post bad numbers for March either,” analyst Frank Biller of Stuttgart-based LBBW is quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Daimler stocks climbed as a high as 1.6% to hit 70.94 euros in Frankfurt. The company’s shares, which have hit highs not witnessed since late 2007, has advanced 12% in 2014, putting the automaker’s value at $103 billion.
The world’s largest maker of luxury cars plans to add up to 30 new models through 2020 in a strategy to reclaim its leadership of the top-of-the range auto market from BMW, which is based in Munich and Ingolstadt-based Audi.
According to ABC, Daimler attributes the historic March auto sales figures to rising demand in China and an impressive performance in Europe.
Mercedes’ sales jumped 7.6% last month in Europe, with UK sales advancing 20% and exceeding the country’s overall gain of 18%.
Chinese sales of the brand increased 48% in the first quarter, buoyed by leading sales of the E-Class model with an expanded wheel-base.
On the other hand, BMW reported a 25% gain in Chinese auto sales for the first three months of 2014. Volkswagen Audi unit recorded a 21% surge in sales for the same period.
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