Autos

US, China Are Top Markets for Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz
Source: Daimler AG
Daimler, the Germany-based maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, announced Friday morning that the company sold a record 1.65 million vehicles in 2014, up 12.9% compared with 2013 sales, and the fourth consecutive year of record annual sales.

The United States remains the company’s largest market, with sales of 330,391 vehicles in the year and 34,009 in December alone. China surpassed Germany as Daimler’s second-largest market, with sales of 281,588 for the year and 28,769 in December. Sales in Germany totaled 261,050 for the year and 22,688 in December.

Daimler touted sales of its new C-class sedan and wagon, which came to market in March and September of last year, respectively. Sales totaled 316,792 for the compact vehicles, which carry a starting price of around $40,000 in the United States. According to data compiled at GoodCarBadCar.net, U.S. sales of the C-class cars totaled 75,065 in 2014, down nearly 15% from sales of 88,251 in 2013.

The world’s leading luxury car seller in 2014 was BMW, with more than 1.81 million BMW-branded vehicles sold. BMW sells more cars in Europe and China than in the United States, where total sales rose 5.3% to 395,850 vehicles in 2014, including both BMW and MINI brands. The BMW 3-Series and 4-Series models sold 142,232 units in the United States in 20014, a year-over-year increase of 19%.

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Both Daimler and BMW depend on their new compact models to drive sales, and Daimler comes right out and says so:

The compact car segment, which was extended by the GLA in March, was particularly successful in 2014. Unit sales grew by 24.7% to 463,152 vehicles of the A-, B-, CLA- and GLA-Class. Mercedes-Benz has never before delivered so many compacts to customers in a single year.

Mercedes E-class sales fell 5% in the United States last year to 66,400, compared with sales of 52,704 for the BMW 5-Series, down 7.3% for the year. Both models saw sales plunge around 40% in December.

The top-of-the-line Mercedes S-class saw annual U.S. sales rise 90% in 2014 to 25,276 units, compared with sales of just 9,744 BMW 7-Series models, down about 11% year-over-year.

A total of 341,788 Mercedes SUVs were sold in 2014. In the United States, the Mercedes M-Class SUV sold 46,726 units, trailing the BMW X5, which sold 47,031 units, among luxury SUVs. The best-selling luxury SUV was the Cadillac SRX from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), which sold more than 53,000 units domestically last year.

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