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Business

Domestic Demand Hits Mercedes Car Sales

DaimlerChrysler, the German-American car giant, recorded a fall in sales of its Mercedes cars in the first eight months of 2003 and could post lower sales for the whole year according to a statement released at the IAA Frankfurt motor show on Tuesday. The statement attributed the drop in sales to weak domestic demand. Only 80,900 Mercedes brand cars were sold in August, 8.3 percent fewer than in the same month in 2002. The total number of Mercedes cars sold in the period from January to August dropped by 2.1 percent to 725,900. Sales of the group's Smart model rose by 3.6 percent to 6,800 in August, while eight-month Smart sales slipped by 1.3 percent to 79,700. Sources at the company also predicted flat sales for 2004 but added that an improved trend might be seen in Europe in general and Germany in particular.