April 4 (Bloomberg) -- Mercedes-Benz, the world’s third- largest maker of luxury cars, sold more vehicles in a single month than ever before in March as demand for its new compact cars surged.
Deliveries last month surged 13 percent to 158,523 vehicles, contributing to the best first quarter in the brand’s history, the Stuttgart-based carmaker, which is owned by Daimler AG, said in a statement today.
“We are continuing the success story of the record year 2013 with additional new products,” said Ola Kaellenius, head of sales. “We have been posting double-digit growth rates for sales in every month since the beginning of the year.”
Mercedes-Benz global sales jumped more than 10 percent for the past nine consecutive months on strong demand for its new line of compact cars that now includes four models. Mercedes’s delivery growth outpaced rivals in the last months helping the company towards its target of unseating Bayerische Motoren Werke AG from the top spot in global luxury sales by 2020. In its effort to regain the sales crown it lost to BMW in 2005, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out 30 new models through 2020, a dozen of which have no predecessor.
March sales of the compact A-, B- CLA- and GLA-Class vehicles increased 26 percent to 43,349 with the sports utility- vehicle GLA just being introduced last month. Sales of the top- of the-line S-Class doubled in the first quarter to 24,144 vehicles.
Demand was particularly strong in the U.S. where sales increased 11 percent to 27,401 vehicles. China sales surged 34 percent to 24,937 vehicles on the extended version of the upscale E-Class.