January 12, 2010 / 2:17 AM / 8 years ago

Mercedes-Benz says 2009 China sales up 77 percent

<p>Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche speaks after revealing the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet at the 2010 North American International Auto Show during press days in Detroit, Michigan, January 11, 2010.Mark Blinch</p>

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz unit said it sold 77 percent more cars in China in 2009 compared with a year earlier.

Mercedes-Benz, which competes with BMW among others globally, sold a record 68,500 cars in China last year, it said in a statement late on Monday, beating its previous target of 65,000 units.

Sales of its new generation S-Class came to 15,000 units, while the C-Class model finished the year with total deliveries of more than 16,000 units, making it the best-selling car in the Mercedes-Benz family, it said.

Sales of the all-new E-Class model, launched in July totaled 8,200 units, it said.

China has been a major bright spot amid a global industry downturn as Beijing's aggressive stimulus measures bolstered consumer confidence.

Sales of Volkswagen AG's Audi premier brand rose 32.9 percent to 158,941 units.

Reporting by Fang Yan and Jacqueline Wong

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