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Mercedes Car Group sales up six per cent in June

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ DaimlerChrysler AG (NYSE:DCX) said Thursday that sales of autos from its Mercedes Car Group rose six per cent in June amid demand for its luxury sedans and that sales for the first six months of the year rose nine per cent.

The German-American car maker said that in June, the number of cars sold rose to 118,000, up from 111,600 in June 2005. For the first six months of the year, the unit sold 627,300 Mercedes, Smart and Maybach vehicles, up from 577,000.

``Sales at Mercedes-Benz grew stronger than the market in the first half of 2006, reaching an all-time high. Considering this positive development, we are now expecting sales of the Mercedes-Benz brand for the full-year 2006 to be higher than the previous year's figure,'' said Klaus Maier, executive vice-president of the group.

``As was to be expected, sales of the Smart brand will be below last year's figure due to the focus on the fortwo.''

The improved figures were the result of stronger-than-expected demand for the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class along with the M-Class.

Growth was apparent in all of the company's markets with all regions contributing.

In western Europe, sales rose by 10 per cent to 340,500 units through June. Mercedes-Benz posted record sales in the U.S., where customer deliveries increased by 17 per cent through June to 114,900 units. A sales record was set in the Asia/Pacific region as well, with sales there increasing by 19 per cent to 65,100 units.

The company said it sold 62,000 Smart cars in the first six months, and 12,600 in June alone. DaimlerChrysler said last week that it would start selling the tiny two-seat fortwo in the United States starting in 2008.

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Mercedes Car Group sales up six per cent in June
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