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Mercedes Car Group sales down 1.3 per cent in June

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ A drop in sales of the Smart fortwo offset a slight gain in sales of Mercedes-Benz branded-cars, automaker DaimlerChrysler AG said Wednesday, as sales last month fell 1.3 per cent from a year ago.

The German-American automaker, which is in the process of selling its Chrysler unit to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, said that overall sales by its Mercedes Car Group, which includes the famous Mercedes-Benz brand and the smaller Smart GmbH unit, fell to 117,200 vehicles last month, down 1.3 per cent from June 2006.

For the first six months of the year, sales were down 1.5 per cent with 617,700 cars sold, compared with January-June 2006.

Sales of the Smart fortwo, a two-seat micro car that will go on sale in the U.S. next year, fell 20.9 per cent in June, with 9,900 sold, compared with 12,600 a year earlier. For the first six months, sales were down 32.2 per cent to 42,000.

But Mercedes-Benz sales improved to 107,300 in June, compared with 106,200 a year earlier, while six-month sales rose to 575,700 from 565,300 in the year-ago period.

Shares of DaimlerChrysler fell nearly half a per cent to C68.28 (US$92.98) in Frankfurt.


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Mercedes Car Group sales down 1.3 per cent in June
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