Mercedes claims luxury pole position

FRANKFURT • Mercedes-Benz yesterday said that it had defended its top spot as the world's biggest luxury carmaker last year, with a surge in sales, particularly in China, enabling it to clock up another record year.

The Stuttgart-based group reported sales of around 2.3 million cars last year, a rise of almost 10 per cent on the figure for 2016 and its seventh record year in a row.

Much of the growth was attributable to its breakneck growth in China, where sales grew by 26 per cent, and the appeal of its SUVs, with the luxury four-wheel-drive vehicles accounting for more than one in three sales worldwide.

The group claimed its three-pointed star remained the top high-end car brand worldwide, after overtaking Munich-based rival BMW in 2016.

BMW has yet to release full-year sales figures for 2017, but the latest release from November shows the group significantly lagging behind Mercedes.

Mr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes parent company Daimler, said: "Success in our core business provides the basis for us to actively shape the mobility of the future."

Like other carmakers, Mercedes is investing heavily in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, as well as more efficient, less polluting traditional motors.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2018, with the headline 'Mercedes claims luxury pole position'. Print Edition | Subscribe