German carmaker Daimler is catching up with Audi in the race for 2nd place in the global luxury car segment as its new Mercedes models boosted sales to a record in 2013. The lead of BMW, however, remains uncontested.
In the race for the world leadership in the premium car segment, German Mercedes cars made strong progress in 2013, boosting sales to a new company record, the carmaker's parent company Daimler announced Friday.
Mercedes sold 1.46 million cars worldwide last year, posting an increase of 10.7 percent compared with 2012. In addition, about 100,000 units of its Smart city car were shipped to customers, Daimler said.
The result meant thatDaimler
was able to close the gap to the world's second largest luxury carmaker, Germany'sAudi
, which narrowly beat Mercedes with sales of 1.58 million cars in 2013.
Mercedes' growth strategy was bearing first fruit, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a statement, noting that especially its new version of the E-class and S-class sedans were selling well.
In the United States, which remainedMercedes' largest single market in 2013
, sales grew 14 percent to 312,000 cars. At home in Germany, the top-of-the-range brand sold 2.2 percent fewer vehicles than in the previous year.
But in China, which has become the world's largest car market, Mercedes made the biggest strides in its effort to catch up with global luxury car leaders Audi and BMW. Chinese sales jumped 11 percent year-on-year to 218,000 vehicles.
Despite the record result in 2013, Mercedes still lags far behind the world's top luxury brand, Bavarian marque BMW. The Munich-based automaker already announced in November that it had beaten record 2012 sales with 1.78 million cars sold by the end of that month.
uhe/msh (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)