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Daimler says 2007 auto sales up almost two per cent to nearly 1.3 million

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The automaker Daimler AG, whose brands include Mercedes-Benz and Smart, said Tuesday its 2007 auto sales rose by almost two per cent, with demand growing in the U.S. and Asia for the new C-Class sedan.

The Stuttgart-based company said it sold 1.28 million cars last year, compared with 1.26 million in 2006.

By segment, Daimler said it sold nearly 1.2 million Mercedes-Benz automobiles, compared with 1.1 million in 2006, a three per cent increase.

Sales rose two per cent in the United States, with demand for its SUVs strong, while in Asia sales were up 12 per cent, lifted higher by demand for luxury cars, particularly in China.

Sales of its Smart brand, including the two-seater Fortwo, dropped 11 per cent worldwide from 112,100 in 2006 to 100,600 last year.

Demand was greatest in Germany and Italy. The Fortwo is set to go on sale in the U.S. later this year.

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Daimler says 2007 auto sales up almost two per cent to nearly 1.3 million
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