Mercedes-Benz continues to be the leading premium automobile brand in terms of unit sales. In a challenging year, the company with the three-pointed star increased its global car sales to 2,310,185 units in 2018, its eighth consecutive record year (+0.9%), making Mercedes-Benz the best-selling premium brand in the automotive industry for the third time in succession. The new sales record in the car division of Daimler AG was driven in particular by the success of Mercedes-Benz in the Asia-Pacific region and its core Chinese market there. Worldwide, models including the SUVs and the E-Class Saloon and Estate were able to generate significant sales impetus in 2018.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was at the top of the premium segment in the automotive industry for the third year in a row. In a highly competitive environment, we also remained at the top from month to month, thanks in particular to double-digit growth in China and many new models that have delighted both existing and new customers worldwide. We will continue rejuvenating our portfolio systematically in 2019. We see the major successes in our core business primarily as paving the way for shaping the individual mobility of tomorrow.”
Mercedes-Benz completed its strongest-selling year also with the best quarter in the company’s history (595,098 units, +4.0%). In addition, a new December record was set last month with sales of 206,532 units (+6.7%). In 2018, Mercedes-Benz maintained its position as the premium brand with the most new registrations in many markets, and secured market leadership in markets including Germany, France, Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, USA, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
“With more than 2.4 million vehicles delivered by Mercedes-Benz Cars in 2018, we once again surpassed our own sales record – for the eighth time in succession. In addition, despite a challenging year, we maintained our position at the top of the premium segment. The excitement for our models and the loyalty of our customers spurs us on to continue giving the best in the new year,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “In recent months, the strong growth of the new A-Class has shown the impetus high-calibre innovations such as MBUX can have in the market. In 2019, more than 10 Mercedes-Benz models will inspire our customers with the intuitive operating concept of MBUX and its artificial intelligence – not only in the compact car segment, but also in SUV segment.”
Growth in sales of SUVs leads to new record for a year
With 820,721 units sold and a growth rate of 1.9%, Mercedes-Benz SUVs made a significant contribution to the sales success of last year. In all three core regions Asia-Pacific, Europe and NAFTA region, more SUVs with the star were sold than ever before. This segment now accounts for more than a third of all Mercedes-Benz sales. The main markets in 2018 were China, the United States and Germany.
In the year of its 20th anniversary, the smart brand achieved its third-strongest sales of the past decade: 128,802 customers opted for a smart fortwo or smart forfour in the past twelve months (-4.6%). A significant increase in sales was achieved in Germany, where more than 41,000 units of the urban microcar were delivered between January and December (+14.0%). The smart enjoyed great popularity also in China, where it achieved its second-best full-year sales since its launch in that market in 2009. Last year, the changeover of the smart into an electric brand made further progress: 2018 was the first year of full availability of all three smart models with electric drive. Never before have so many units of the electric smart models been sold in a year as in 2018. With the integration of the electric smart into the EQ product and technology brand last spring, the three electric smart models represent the first series-produced models in the EQ family. The aim is to convert the smart brand to electric drive in Europe completely by 2020, following the conversion already completed in the United States, Canada and Norway.