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German vehicle manufacturer Mercedes says it has retained its title as the world's most successful premium brand carmaker. Its booming business in China is an essential part of securing that status.
Daimler's vehicle division Mercedes-Benz announced Monday it ended 2017 with yet another annual sales record — the seventh straight record in a row.
The company's core brand sold roughly 2.3 million units in 2017, marking a 9.9-percent increase from the previous year. The company noted that there was higher demand for its SUVs and compact cars.
In China alone, the carmaker sold 588,000 Mercedes vehicles last year, confirming the Asian nation's importance for the German company. "The success in our core business enables us to actively shape future mobility developments," said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.
E-mobility in focus
Daimler claimed it had thus been able to cling to its position as the world's most successful premium carmaker, after already overtaking archrivals BMW and Audi in 2016.
BMW has yet to provide full-year sales figures for last year. But according to statistics released towards the end of 2017, the Munich-based company trailed Mercedes by some 200,000 units at the end of November, a gap thought to be impossible to plug within just one month.
Daimler hopes to expand its current lead by pumping huge resources into the development and manufacturing of electric cars. This is becoming increasingly important strategically, with China introducing quotas on the sale of e-cars in a bid to help fight pollution.
hg/aos (dpa, Reuters)