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Sales of Mercedes Car Group dip 3.5 per cent in October

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DaimlerChrysler AG said Tuesday that sales of vehicles from its Mercedes Car Group dipped 3.5 per cent in October, dragged down by a drop in demand for its two-seat Smart car.

The German-American automaker said that in October, it sold 102,500 vehicles under the Mercedes, Smart and Maybach brands, as a decline in Western Europe more than offset rises in North America and Asia.

In western Europe, the Mercedes Car Group sold 64,100 vehicles in October, down 10.2 per cent from a year earlier.

In North America, DaimlerChrysler sold 22,600 vehicles, up 11.8 per cent, while 9,300 vehicles were sold in Asia, up 2.4 per cent from the previous year.

During the first 10 months of the year, vehicle deliveries from the Mercedes Car Group to customers increased by 4.8 per cent to a record 1.03 million from 989,300 in the first 10 months of 2005.

The company said that the Mercedes-Benz brand sold 94,200 passenger cars worldwide in October, matching the figure from last year, driven in part by demand for its E- and S-class models.

In the U.S. market last month, Mercedes-Benz registered a sales increase, rising 12 per cent to 20,600 cars sold. In the January-October period, deliveries rose by 13 per cent to a record 197,600 cars.

The Smart brand delivered 8,300 vehicles to customers worldwide in October 2006, down 31 per cent on the year, as customers waited for the model changeover in 2007.

Last month, the world's fifth-largest automaker posted a profit of 541 million euros (US$686 million) for the July-September period, compared with a profit of 855 million euros a year earlier. Sales fell eight per cent to 35.2 billion euros ($44.6 billion) for the quarter from 38.1 billion euros a year ago.

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Sales of Mercedes Car Group dip 3.5 per cent in October
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