That's mighty impressive given the circumstances.
Mercedes-Benz was in a great position financially as 2020 began. However the coronavirus pandemic forced Mercedes to shut down production but the German automaker says it will push ahead with new projects that are in development, like the next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Mercedes may be better equipped to survive this difficult time than many of its competitors but the German automaker just published its first-quarter results for 2020 and to no one's surprise, they are down.
While other manufacturers published their Q1 results last week for the US market, Mercedes held off to post its global figures. Thus far in 2020, Mercedes has sold 477,378 around the world. While this is still an impressive figure, we have to remember that January and February sales were not yet impacted by Covid-19. Even with only part of March dragging down sales, the numbers are still down 14.9 percent compared to 2019.
Mercedes took the biggest hit in the Chinese market, where sales dropped a staggering 20.3 percent followed by Europe, which saw a 15.9 percent decline. Interestingly, the company still managed to sell 78,501 cars in North America with 67,746 of those going to the US, meaning sales only dropped 6.7 percent and 4.8 percent respectively compared to 2019. Mercedes didn't give a sales breakdown by model in the US but the GLC is by far the brand's biggest seller.
With a drop of just 4.8 percent, Mercedes faired better than its competitors Audi and BMW, who dropped 14 percent and 17.4 percent respectively in the US. Elsewhere in the luxury segment, Alfa Romeo dropped by 14 percent, Genesis by 5.9 percent, Lexus by 15.6 percent, Infiniti by 25.5 percent, and Porsche by 20.2 percent. Kia was the only automaker we noticed that posted a sales gain of one percent.
"The repercussions of the coronavirus affect us all and will continue to stay with us in the coming weeks. We took measures to protect our customers and employees at an early stage. Together with our global retail partners, we have further strengthened our online activities. Through our digital platforms, we are always available for our customers, especially in the current situation. We have not lost sight of our goals and are continuing to work on future planning and strategic projects so that we can quickly get back on track after the crisis," said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Marketing and Sales. "In China and South Korea, our dealerships are fully open and we see a significant increase in demand there. That gives us confidence."