German luxury cars Mercedes, Audi sees record sales for 2013, helped by demand in US, China

FRANKFURT – German luxury car makers Mercedes-Benz and Audi enjoyed record sales last year, boosted by rising demand in the United States and China.

Mercedes-Benz, which is based in Stuttgart and owned by Daimler AG, said Friday that it sold 1.462 million cars last year worldwide, an increase of 10.7 per cent. Sales in the U.S., the company’s largest single market, grew 14 per cent to 312,534. Yet they were off 2.2 per cent in Germany.

Business was boosted by the launch of new versions of the E-class and S-Class sedans. Sales of small cars such as the A-Class, B-Class and CLA coupe also did well, jumping 64 per cent.

The brand said it also had its best-ever December, with sales up 11.2 per cent at 139,180.

Mercedes’ competitor Audi, the luxury brand of Volkswagen AG, released similarly impressive figures late Thursday. It sold a company record 1.575 million cars in 2013.

Sales jumped 21 per cent in China, 13.5 per cent in the U.S. and 15 per cent in the U.K.