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News of  August 01, 2000


Mercedes-Benz and smart Celebrate Another Record Half Year 
  • Passenger car sales up 10 percent in the first six months of 2000 to 570,100 units
  • Mercedes-Benz: plus six percent to 518,400 units
  • First six months: 41 percent of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sold in Western Europe are powered by diesel engines
  • smart: sales up 81 percent to 51,700 units
  • 7,000 smart cdi vehicles sold throughout Europe 
Stuttgart – DaimlerChrysler sold 570,100 Mercedes-Benz and smart brand passenger cars worldwide during the first six months of this year - a 10-percent increase on the first half of 1999 (519,100) and a new record. 



Photo: DaimlerChrysler

"We’re 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."  

All Key Regions Headed for Record Year

All 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.  

Germany 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.  

The 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 1999.  

Sales 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.  

Share of Diesel-Powered Vehicles up Sharply  

The 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 percent).  

The 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.  

Since 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. 

(July 27, 2000)


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