FRANKFURT, April 5 Solid volume growth in its
new range of compact cars helped propel sales of Daimler's
Mercedes-Benz brand upwards to 139,920 vehicles, its
single highest monthly tally ever.
"We again topped the strong result of the previous year and
have posted the best month in our company's history to date. We
have never sold as many vehicles in a single month," Mercedes
sales chief Joachim Schmidt said in a statement on Friday.
Thanks to the 6.5 percent increase last month, Mercedes
marked a new record high in first-quarter car sales at 324,898
vehicles for a gain of 3.5 percent.
Although Mercedes may be growing its business, a claim many
of its mass market peers cannot stake, the German premium brand
has watched the gap with rivals BMW and Audi
continue to grow mainly due to Mercedes problems in
Sales in China gained over 5 percent last month but this
still left a near 12 percent decline overall for the quarter.
A key element in Daimler's strategy to retake the top spot
from BMW by 2020 is the new family of Mercedes-Benz compact
vehicles that include the CLA four-door coupe, which hits
markets starting April 13.
Sales of its A- and B-Class compact siblings jumped 49.4
percent in the first quarter, according to Daimler.
(Reporting By Christiaan Hetzner)