Mercedes, BMW see July deliveries advance
Mercedes-Benz sales in China jumped 26 percent year on year to 37,277 vehicles in July as the German automaker continued to gain ground on rival BMW AG.
Mercedes enjoyed strong demand for its Smart minicars. The company said Smart deliveries tripled last month, but it did not disclose unit sales.
Mercedes' sales surge mirrored a sharp uptick in industry sales. Deliveries of cars, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles rose 23 percent year on year in July, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
This week, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers is to release its industry sales data for July.
In the first seven months, Mercedes sales have jumped 32 percent year on year to 257,276 vehicles, while BMW deliveries rose 8.5 percent to 287,753.
Over the past two years, Mercedes has steadily closed the sales gap with Audi and BMW, China's top two luxury brands. Audi has not yet reported July sales in China.
To fuel further sales growth, Mercedes says it will introduce the redesigned and locally produced long-wheelbase E-class sedan this fall.
The company's joint venture with BAIC Motor Co., Beijing Benz Automotive Co., also announced plans in June to expand production of four- and six-cylinder engines at its plant in Beijing.
Beijing Benz produces Mercedes cars and crossovers.
The partnership will spend 4 billion yuan ($603 million) on the expansion. Last year, the plant produced 250,000 engines.