Mercedes-Benz reported a 6% increase in worldwide sales for the month of October but in its key growth market of China, it suffered weak sales for the month. From January to October 2012, volumes increased by 5.1% to about 1.07 million units. Last month, Mercedes sold 109,632 vehicles worldwide.
In a statement, Mercedes sales chief Joachim Schmidt said that for the full year, it expects to achieve a new all-time best sales record.
Even with these figures, Mercedes still falls behind its competitors, BMW and Audi, which are achieving faster growths in China. BMW and Audi have sold approximately 1.10 million vehicles as of the end of September. Last month, Mercedes sales in China declined by 3.9% to 15,895 units.
Daimler said that this drop was due to the "very strong" sales from October 2011. Mercedes sold 5.5% higher in October to 160,425 units. Daimler also anticipates more momentum in its growth in the upcoming months with the full availability of the high volume B class newly launched in China. Daimler added that it plans to reorganize the sales operations in China.
Mercedes launched the redesigned B-class compact in China last August. Daimler said that the new sportier A-class compact hatchback will make its debut in China in mid-2013.
Mercedes’ monthly sales in the U.S., its largest single market, increased by 5.9% to 23,978, adding to an 11.9% climb to 215,596 for the first ten months of the year. Presently, Mercedes is the top-selling premium brand in the U.S., with a slight lead over BMW.
Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, described the process of interpreting the brand’s new dynamic style into the compact class as a challenge that was great fun to tackle. He noted that the sculptural shape of the A-Class is unmistakably Mercedes while the character lines on the sides lend the compact car its structure and curtness. Wagener added that this dynamic styling could also be found inside the cabin of the new A-Class.
Essentially, the new A-Class features a new exterior design marked by defined edges and tautly drawn surfaces. Thanks to the interplay between concave and convex surfaces, a harmonious interaction of light and shade is created, further defining the elegant exterior of the A-Class. Up front, the new A-Class is still defined by its V-shape appearance, the radiator grille with central Mercedes star and double slats, as well as separate headlamps extra air intakes on the sides.
The headlamps, meanwhile, feature a design as well as functional configurations that serve a vital element of the car’s design concept. In addition, the new A-Class features a "dropping line" on the side that dissipates towards the front end.
On the other hand, the light modules and the LED units – as covered by the headlamp class – have been laid out to create the so-called "flare effect" for the daytime driving lights and indicators. The new A-Class features a so-called "flare," which is basically a combination of the feature line in the headlamp, the bulb sets for the indicators, the LED modules for the daytime running lamps.