Just months out from the debut of the next-generation 2010 E-Class executive saloon, Mercedes Benz has announced that it has reached a new sales milestone for the current model. The German carmaker has confirmed that it has delivered a combined total of 1.5 million E-Class sedans and Estate wagons since the car went on sale six years ago.

This brings Mercedes’ total tally for all seven generations of the E-Class and its predecessors, which date back more than 60 years, to around 12 million units.

As for the current model, a total of 1,270,000 sedans have been delivered worldwide since the model was launched in 2002, while 230,000 customers have opted for the station wagon version. The most important markets for the E-Class are Germany and the United States, each of which accounts for approximately 25% of total sales.

The most popular E-Class engine versions are the E220 CDI and E350, each of which attracts 10% of all E-Class customers. Some 40% of all customers select a diesel-powered vehicle.

With strong competition from rivals, including a revised BMW 5-Series in the works, as well as the recently facelifted Audi A6 now on sale, Mercedes’ next-generation E-Class will have its work cut out for it. However, handsome styling and a highly fuel-efficient hybrid option should see it continue the success of its predecessors.