very pleased with the way business at Mercedes-Benz and smart developed
over the first six months of this year," says Professor Jürgen
Hubbert, Member of the board of Management, responsible for
Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars and smart. "Our attractive and
innovative products evidently meet the demands of our customers from all
over the world. We also successfully continued our product offensive
with the introduction of the new C-Class. And the smart convertible,
which became available in April, has met with a very favorable response
from our customers. I’m very confident that despite the downward
adjustment to our forecasts in some markets, we will still be able to
achieve our goal of surpassing 1999’s sales results and further
boosting our market share."
Key Regions Headed for Record Year
production series and key regions once again contributed to the sales
increase. In Western Europe (including Germany), the company delivered
some 386,500 vehicles to customers, seven percent more than in the first
half of 1999. smart accounted for around 51,700 of these unit sales
(plus 81 percent), including nearly 10,600 smart convertibles.
remains the most important market for Mercedes-Benz and smart.
DaimlerChrysler sold approximately 206,700 passenger cars of both brands
in Germany through June, a three-percent increase on the previous year.
Market share was also up in Germany by around two percentage points. The
smart brand performed particularly well in Germany: In the first half of
2000, DaimlerChrysler’s subcompact posted a roughly 46-percent
increase in sales to around 22,300 units.
record pace also continued again this year in Mercedes-Benz’ second
most important market, the U.S. Dealerships delivered 100,400
Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the first six months of the year, an
increase of 12 percent on the record figures posted in the first half of
of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Japan fell by 21 percent to
approximately 21,400 units. This is in large part due to the C-Class
model changeover, which is not scheduled to take place until September
2000. However, the drop in sales in Japan was more than offset by a
significant increase in demand in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region,
where sales rose 64 percent to more than 22,800 passenger cars.
of Diesel-Powered Vehicles up Sharply
share of diesel-driven Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold once again
increased sharply in the first half of the year. More than 41 percent of
all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold in Western Europe through June
were equipped with diesel engines. Total deliveries of 134,300
diesel-driven vehicles were nearly twice as high as in 1998. The most
popular vehicles are the M-Class and E-Class diesel variants: 70 percent
of all M-Class customers and nearly 60 percent of E-Class customers
chose to have their Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with revolutionary
common rail technology. Mercedes-Benz diesel passenger cars are
especially popular in Belgium (more than 70 percent of total sales this
year), followed by Austria (69 percent) and France (more than 67
market leading Mercedes-Benz diesel engines on offer range from a
1.6-liter, direct injection engine equipped with state-of-the-art CDI
technology in the A-Class, to the 184 kW (250 hp) 400 CDI engine
recently installed in the S-Class. This new eight cylinder model is the
most powerful diesel engine ever to be installed in a passenger car.
the beginning of this year, DaimlerChrysler has also been offering the
smart city coupe in a diesel version. Nearly 7,000 customers in Western
Europe (13 percent of total smart sales) have already opted for this
"three-liter car" from DaimlerChrysler in the short time that
it has been on the market.