Smart sales boost Daimler’s six-month results

Daimler auto sales picked up slightly in June, the company said Friday, helping first-half results post an increase of eight percent from the same period a year earlier, in large part owing to the small city car Smart.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz auto division sold 668,000 vehicles from January to the end of June, an increase of four percent for the Mercedes brand and a leap of 64 percent for Smart, a statement said. All sales regions posted increases with the exception of Japan, where sales fell by five percent.

“We expect the introduction of the updated A- and B-Class models, the new CLC as well as the GLK compact SUV, starting this autumn, to create new sales momentum in the second half of the year,” marketing director Klaus Maier was quoted as saying.

After slipping in May, Daimler posted contrasting results in June, with the overall auto division showing increased sales of 1.8 percent compared with June 2007, to 119,300 units. Mercedes sales actually slipped by 1.2 percent in June however, while Smart sales jumped by 34 percent to 13,300 vehicles.