Mercedes-Benz posts highest ever monthly sales on China demand

The logo of Mercedes-Benz is pictured on a car prior to the Daimler annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz achieved its highest ever monthly sales with passenger car deliveries up 8.4 percent in March, thanks to a 26.6 percent sales jump in China, which offset a 6 percent drop in the United States, parent company Daimler DAIGn.DE said.

Mercedes-Benz delivered 198,921 cars to customers in March, and 483,487 vehicles in the first quarter, the company said on Wednesday.

Sales of sports utility vehicles rose 44.4 percent, the company said, while unit sales of compact cars, including the A-Class, B-Class and GLA rose 21.9 percent.

Sales of the new Smart rose 34.5 percent in March, thanks to strong demand in Italy and Great Britain, Daimler said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan