Daimler says car sales jump almost 18 percent in May

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German luxury carmaker Daimler on Monday reported a nearly 18 percent jump in new car sales for May and forecast that second quarter sales would also increase by a double-digit margin.

Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz cars, said it sold 101,400 vehicles worldwide, up 17.5 percent compared with the same month last year, amid record deliveries in China and strong demand for its E- and S-Class sedans (saloons).

In China, sales leapt by 121 percent to 11,500 units and in the United States by 22.6 percent to 18,500 vehicles.

German sales slipped by 3.5 percent to 24,700 however, and the minicar Smart also struggled, with a global drop of 15.2 percent to 9,300 units.

Sales director Joachim Schmidt hailed the fact that "in May, Mercedes-Benz was able to grow faster than the global market. Thanks to this good result, we expect a solid second quarter with a double-digit increase" in sales.

Luxury car makers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes are faring better this year after car-scrapping schemes in 2009 boosted sales mostly for smaller, less expensive models.

© 2010 AFP

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