Mercedes-Benz posts record sales on strong Asia demand

Mercedes car
Image caption Mercedes wants to sell 1.3 million cars this year

Mercedes-Benz has reported its best half-year sales on record, thanks in large part to growing demand in emerging economies, particularly China.

The German luxury carmaker said it had sold 610,531 passenger cars over the first six months of the year, a rise of almost 10% on a year earlier.

Sales in China rose by more than 50% while sales in Russia were up by more than 70%.

Mercedes added that June and the second quarter also saw record sales.

"The first half of the year went very well for Mercedes-Benz," said Dr Joachim Schmidt, executive vice president of sales and marketing.

"We achieved double-digit growth increases in many markets, our products are in demand and we succeeded in setting a new record."

The company said it aimed to sell 1.3 million cars in 2011, more than it has sold in a calendar year before.

Demand in Asia and other emerging markets drove global sales in the first half of the year. Outside of China, sales in Taiwan jumped by 45% and in India by 40%.

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