BERLIN, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Daimler AG has made an excellent start to the year 2012. "Our company is on the way to its best form, but is not there yet. We are confident we can do more, and that also applies to our share price," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, according to the text of his speech to the expected 5,800 shareholders at the International Congress Center (ICC) in Berlin.
In the first three months of the year 2012, the Group once again sold more vehicles than in the same period of last year. Unit sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars in the period of January through March increased by 12% to more than 340,000 units compared with the prior-year period. The division thus achieved its best-ever first quarter and its best-ever monthly unit sales in March. The growth drivers since January have been the C-Class models (plus 27%), the S-Class (plus 18%) and the SUV segment (plus 8%). There was also strong demand for the new B-Class, the first of five cars in the new compact range, with orders received for over 100,000 units to date. Although the B-Class is so far only available in Europe, more than 35,000 cars have already been delivered to customers. In September, the new A-Class will be launched, the second car of the new compact car portfolio.
Global car markets should grow by 4% this year. "At Mercedes, we're on a roll, and we want to beat that," said Zetsche and affirmed the unit-sales forecast for Mercedes-Benz Cars. The division assumes that this year it will surpass the unit-sales record it set in 2011.