The recovery of worldwide retail passenger car sales by Mercedes-Benz continued in the third quarter despite ongoing challenging conditions. Global sales of 613,770 passenger cars in the period of July to September were higher than in the prior-year quarter for the first time this year (+3.9 percent) due to the positive development in China and rising customer demand in many other markets.
The attractive model portfolio and numerous measures taken by dealerships to respond in the best possible manner to customer inquiries and interest even during the COVID-19 pandemic, provided additional sales support in the third quarter. In order to meet the high level of customer demand at short notice, dealerships’ inventories were reduced worldwide.
China continued to be the main driver of Mercedes-Benz passenger car sales as the market continued its rapid recovery in the third quarter (+23.4 per cent). In Germany, the domestic market of Mercedes-Benz, sales in the past three months were higher than in the prior-year quarter for the first time this year (+4.0 per cent).
“Demand from our customers in the third quarter was significantly higher than we had assumed in March and April in view of the challenges posed by the pandemic. We are pleased with customers’ positive response to our models and the increasing demand in many markets.
“However, the third quarter also shows how regionally diverse the situation still is in the markets and for our dealerships. We will therefore monitor developments very closely in the fourth quarter, but the current level of demand is encouraging”, said Britta Seeger, member of the boards of management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for marketing and sales.
The brand sold 1,548,859 premium and luxury vehicles worldwide in the first three quarters of the year, thus continuing its upward sales trend (-10.2 per cent). At the smart brand, global unit sales were still below the previous year’s level due to the changeover to purely battery-electric drive; a total of 22,006 two- and four-door urban micro cars were handed over to customers in the first nine months of the year (-74.9 per cent).
Mercedes-Benz Cars thus delivered a total of 1,570,865 cars of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands from January to September (-13.4 per cent). At Mercedes-Benz vans with vehicles for the commercial sector, a further market recovery was noticeable in the third quarter of 2020 under corona conditions. Unit sales increased by 11.2 percent in the third quarter, particularly due to positive developments in China and Europe. In total, 95,933 units of the Sprinter, Vito, Vito Tourer and Citan were sold in the third quarter.
“Despite the ongoing challenging external conditions in the third quarter, we were able to increase the unit sales of our vans worldwide by eight percent. This growth is largely based on the success of our commercial vans, with which we achieved our best-ever third quarter worldwide,” stated Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.