German luxury automakers see record sales in 2012

Angela Merkel and Dieter Zetsche

Luxury German carmaker Mercedes-Benz said on Friday it had achieved record sales in 2012, driven by accelerating growth in China and the United States.

About 1.3 million Mercedes-Benz cars were purchased in 2012, the firm said in its annual sales release, a gain of 4.7 percent on the previous year.

With 274,134 cars sold in the United States (a gain of 11.8 percent), this overtook Germany (261,084 cars sold) as Mercedes-Benz’s main sales market.

Nearly 200,000 Mercedes were sold in China, a gain of 1.5 percent, the firm added.

However, the wider Daimler company has suffered from a difficult environment for the auto industry and was forced to cut its full-year forecasts in October after a disappointing third quarter.


German carmakers BMW and Audi said Thursday they raced ahead to new sales records in 2012, with growth driven primarily by demand outside Europe.

BMW said in a statement that it sold a total 1.845 million vehicles last year, an increase of 10.6 percent over 2011, while rival Audi, a unit of Volkswagen, was able to lift its sales by 11.7 percent to 1.455 million units.