2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA ClassEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz is the latest premium automotive brand to announce record sales, following the likes of Audi, Buick and Rolls-Royce. More than 1,461,680 cars wearing the three-pointed star were sold in 2013, an increase of 10.7 percent on the 1,320,097 sold in 2012. And if you factor in sales of Smart cars, Mercedes’ total balloons to 1,562,472 vehicles, up 9.7 percent on the 1,423,835 sold in 2012.
“We look back on the best year of the Mercedes-Benz brand and have surpassed sales of the previous year by over ten per cent,” Mercedes-Benz chief Dr. Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. “Our growth strategy is working, in particular in Europe and the U.S. we were able to gain further market shares.”
Zetsche was particularly proud of the performance of the new CLA-Class, boasting that half of the car’s buyers come from competing brands. Zetsche also pointed out that Mercedes is expecting additional sales momentum in 2014 due to full-year sales of key models like the CLA-Class as well as the latest E-Class and S-Class. All three were launched during the course of 2013.
Later this year, Mercedes will also introduce its stunning new C-Class and the GLA-Class, both of which should prove popular in the market. Another key launch for 2014 will be the next-generation Smart Fortwo. These models, plus others, will see Mercedes update its lineup with 30 new models, both all-new and redesigned, by 2020.
Unlike rivals, which lost some market share due to the negative economic conditions in parts of the globe, namely Europe, Mercedes recorded growth in all key regions in 2013. It sold 660,566 vehicles in Europe in 2013, up 5.9 percent on the previous year. Amazingly, sales records were achieved in Great Britain (+19.6%), Belgium (+17.3%) and Turkey (+57.3%). In Mercedes’ home market of Germany, the automaker delivered 255,238 vehicles in 2013, down slightly on the 261,083 sold in 2012.
The U.S. was by far the single biggest market, accounting for 312,534 units of Mercedes’ sales total, an increase of 14 percent from the 274,134 sold in 2012, which was another sales record. And when you add sales from Smart (9,264) and the Sprinter Vans commercial unit, the figure rises to 343,614 units, up 12.6 percent from the 305,072 units sold in 2012. The automaker also generated record sales in Canada and Mexico.
In China, one market where Mercedes has fallen short compared to rivals, it succeeded in better reaching customers and generating sustained sales growth by bundling the marketing and sales activities under a single division. In 2013 the company delivered 218,045 cars in China, an increase by 11.1 percent over the previous year.
Despite the popularity of its new compact range and the launch of a redesigned model later this year, Mercedes’ C-Class remained the brand’s best seller. The company recorded sales of 303,416 sedan and wagon models during 2013.