Mercedes sales fall 4.7% in April

Despite being down in April, Merc sales in the first 4 months of the year rose 12.1%, helped by the launch of new models.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 11:30 IST

Global car sales at DaimlerChrysler's premium division Mercedes Car Group dropped 4.7 per cent in April to 100,800 units, the world's fifth-biggest automaker said on Thursday.

Citing the fact that April 2006 had three fewer working days than the year-earlier month, it said Mercedes-Benz brand sales dipped 1.2 per cent to 91,300 units, while sales at its Smart small car brand fell 28.4 per cent to 9,500 cars.

That brought the division's unit sales in the first four months of the year to 395,800, a gain of 7.4 per cent, it added in a statement.

Despite being down in April, Mercedes-Benz sales in the first four months of the year rose 12.1 per cent to 357,300 units, helped by the launch of new models.

"Sales are expected to get a further impulse this summer when the new generation of the E-Class hits European showrooms on June 10," it said. A successor for the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class model is also due in the second half.

Its top-end S-Class executive car generated 8,500 unit sales in April, bring year-to-date deliveries to 32,600 cars.

DaimlerChrysler shares rose 0.4 per cent by 1250 GMT to 42.76 euros, outpacing a 0.2 per cent increase in the DJ Stoxx European car sector index.

Mercedes is riding a sales wave after launching revamped versions of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class offroader and S-Class last year. It also rolled out the new R-Class and B-Class sport wagons while introducing new V6 and V8 engines.

The company's new GL-Class premium sport utility vehicle reached the US market in April and will be launched in Europe in the autumn.

Smart sales fell 22.7 per cent in the first four months to 38,500 units. DaimlerChrysler has cut back the loss-making brand's product line-up to focus solely on the snub-nosed two-seat model with which it made its debut.

Global sales for April from arch-rival BMW, the world's biggest maker of premium cars, are due to be published next week. Chief Executive Helmut Panke said on Wednesday they would rise at a mid-single-digit percentage rate.

First Published: May 05, 2006 11:30 IST