Mercedes-Benz trims Audi’s sales lead by a third in Jan-Feb 2014

Article by Eugene Conan, on March 11, 2014

Mercedes-Benz managed to trim the luxury-car sales lead of Audi by nearly a third in the first two months of 2014, thanks to increasing demand in China. Until end of February, Mercedes is now only 26,647 sales behind Audi, compared with 36,804 sales during the same period in 2013. Mercedes logged a 17-percent gain in February, boosted by a 74-percent leap in China.

Audi, meanwhile, posted only a 7-percent rise in the month."We are keeping up the high momentum of the previous months," Mercedes sales chief Ola Kaellenius said in a statement. "We have the right products at the right time." Audi saw its deliveries in China, including Hong Kong, in the first two month of 2014 rise 13 percent, with February sales jumping 7 percent.

Deliveries in Europe for the period surged 7 percent, including increases of 14 percent in Germany and 9 percent in the United Kingdom, Audi said in a statement.

"In Europe, several markets are gaining stability at what remains a low level," Audi's sales chief Luca de Meo said in the statement. "In this region, we are already scoring with the new A3 sedan, which will also be launched in China and the United States -- its two most important sales markets -- in the upcoming weeks."

Mercedes’ rise has been attributed to demand for the CLA, A class and B class, as well as an overhaul of the flagship S-class sedan. Mercedes is planning launch a new version of the C class this year and the all-new GLA compact sports utility vehicle. Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche wants for Mercedes to exceed Audi and BMW to become the biggest luxury car maker in the world by 2020. His strategy involves rolling out 30 new vehicles by the end of the decade, a dozen of which will have no predecessor.

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