Daimler posts strong auto sales in April, forecasts solid quarter

11th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

German luxury car maker Daimler said Tuesday that it expected to "substantially boost sales" in the second quarter after posting a strong increase in April.

Like its German rivals Audi and BMW, Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz autos, was on solid ground last month, with sales that gained 12.3 percent from April 2009 to 102,100 vehicles, a statement said.

Luxury car sales have rebounded worldwide, and Daimler saw double-digit growth rates in almost all markets, it added.

Daimler noted in particular "high demand in China and the United States and the great success of the E and S-Class" automobiles," sales director Joachim Schmidt was quoted as saying.

Chinese sales of Mercedes-Benz autos doubled to 11,300 units in April, while the US market posted a 21 percent gain to 17,600.

Even the European market was positive, though it showed a much more modest increase of 1.7 percent to 45,800 vehicles, while strictly German sales were off by 2.2 percent at 21,600 vehicles.

In the first four months of 2010, Germany's three luxury carmakers were almost neck-and-neck, with BMW still in first place thanks to sales of 364,329 vehicles, not including its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.

Audi posted four-month sales of 360,750 cars, and Daimler said it had sold 342,000 vehicles.

© 2010 AFP

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