Despite a generally dissatisfied population of car owners, Mercedes-Benz was able to weather the odds to register its best sales performance of the year.
From January until August, Mercedes was able to sell 1,032,410 vehicles, a 12.3 percent boost year-on-year. Demand declined in the brand's home market in Germany by 6.2 percent but losses were mitigated by growth in the United States and China. There were 27,078 vehicles sold in the U.S. and 21,398 in China, translating to a 9.4 and 18.3 percent increase in sales for the two countries, respectively. On the overall, figures for the European market also climbed by 4.8 percent.
There was an increased demand for compact cars like the A-Class, B-Class, and CLA coupe, rising by nearly 30 percent overall, while sales of the S-Class model shot up by more than 50 percent. SUV sales were at an all-time high too, rising by 7.2 percent on the year.
"The launch of the new C-Class sedan in China and the U.S., its largest markets, will add further sales momentum. The new C-Class estate and the S-Class coupe, which we will launch in Europe in mid-September, will also contribute to additional growth," said Mercedes-Benz divisional board member for sales and marketing Ola Kaellenius. "We therefore continue to be on course to make 2014 another record year," he adds.
Daimler chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche has one goal: to put Mercedes back at the top of the luxury car-making pack. At the moment, BMW and Volkswagen's Audi brand is outselling Mercedes in terms of yearly vehicle sales.
To that end, Daimler is expanding production, increasing capacity at the company's plant in Vance, Alabama and considering bringing manufacturing to Russia despite political uncertainties. Zietsche is calling 2015 Mercedes' "Year of the SUV" as the ML coupe will be made available and facelifts for the GL and ML will be rolled out.
As early as July, Mercedes was already on-track for a record-breaking year after it posted gains of 12.8 percent, the highest it's ever had for half-year sales, in the U.S. The same stellar performance was achieved in August so Mercedes is definitely poised to continue the trend for September.
Mercedes, however, has not released actual sales forecasts for 2014 so it can't be determined if the brand is indeed hitting its goals or merely performing better than it has ever done.