It’s been another remarkable year for Mercedes Benz, as the company recorded its tenth consecutive year of registration growth. Figures supplied by SMMT show that 93,625 new cars were registered in 2003, an increase of 15.8 per cent over last year’s total. Topping off a decade of improvement, this year’s performance saw more new Mercedes Benz cars take to the road than for the 10 year period from 1974 to 1983 combined.
The success was spread across the whole Mercedes Benz product offer – now 91 versions strong – and 10 models and ranges recorded their highest-ever totals. The C-Class proved its enduring popularity, with the Saloon, Estate and Sports Coupé variants all beating their previous best results. The CLK-Class Coupé, CLK-Class Cabriolet, E-Class Saloon, SL-Class Roadster, Vaneo mini-MPV and AMG and diesel versions completed the picture.
The results for C-Class showed the enduring appeal of the model range, which has been improved over the past 18 months with an enhanced selection of efficient second-generation CDI diesel and new TWINPULSE petrol engines. The most popular model in the entire Mercedes Benz range was the C 180 KOMPRESSOR Saloon, with 7,574 units taking to the road in 2003.
Elsewhere, diesel power proved popular with customers. Since introducing the diesel production car back in 1936 (with the 260 D), Mercedes Benz has continued to innovate and improve this technology. Now, with a full range of economical, quiet, refined and powerful CDI engines, record numbers of new customers are buying Mercedes Benz diesels. In 2003, 39,299 CDI cars were registered, 29.4 per cent more than in 2002, and an impressive 42 per cent of total registrations.
If frugality was important in 2003, so too was power, and the high-performance AMG division recorded its best-ever results. 1,409 AMG-powered registrations showed that the idea of owning high performance cars appeals to more people than ever before. Equally at home in rush hour traffic or the autobahn, AMG models are the supercars customers can, and indeed do drive every day. The most popular model was the SL 55 AMG Roadster, recording 558 units over the year.
Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes Car Group, commented on the results: "Mercedes Benz cars have always been popular with customers, and these impressive results clearly show that this appeal continues to turn into sales, with more new drivers getting behind the wheel of our cars.
"In a new car market that increased only 0.6 per cent over last year, our 15.8 per cent rise is all the more impressive. But the real success story can only be seen when we look at the figures in more detail. The fact that 10 models and ranges had record results shows once again that a wide spread of attractive products makes our cars enduringly desirable to a wide range of people. That we’ve had 10 consecutive years of growth proves this sustainability."
Dermot continued: "Every one of our 93,625 new car registrations in 2003 means that another Mercedes Benz customer has chosen to join or return to our marque, and that fact, more than the records, is what drives us. We will continue to improve the levels of products and service we offer our customers, and are introducing even more innovative new cars throughout 2004."
With its record tenth year of registration success, Mercedes Benz is looking to consolidate its performance in 2004. The UK remains the company’s biggest export market outside of the "home" manufacturing territories of Germany and the USA. New model introductions and developments over the next year will continue to keep Mercedes Benz at number one position in the world’s luxury car charts.
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