Mercedes-Benz USA Records Highest U.S. Sales in Its History

4 January 2001

Mercedes-Benz USA Records Highest U.S. Sales in Its History With 205,614 Vehicles Sold During 2000
             Best Ever December Sales; All-New C-Class Sales Soar

    MONTVALE, N.J., Jan. 3 Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) reported
record-breaking year-end sales of 205,614 in 2000 -- setting an all-time
record for MBUSA.  The 2000 sales volume is the highest in the company's
history and represents an 8.5 percent increase over the last year's previous
high of 189,437 vehicles sold in the U.S. in 1999.  Sales for the month also
set an all-time record with 20,306 vehicles sold -- a 6.2 percent increase
over the 19,118 vehicles sold last December.  Also achieving record sales is
MBUSA's certified pre-owned program, Starmark, which posted strong year-end
sales with 30,319 vehicles sold, a 26.7 percent increase over 1999.
    Sales for the year were led by the award-winning M-Class sport utility
vehicle which recorded its highest year with 52,764 vehicles sold, up
16.7 percent (vs. 45,206).  Trailing closely behind with 49,592, E-Class sales
showed a marginal decrease of 1.2 percent (vs. 50,214) due to the
discontinuation of the E300 Diesel.
    A significant portion of the 2000 volume came from the all-new C-Class --
the C240 and C320 -- which went on sale in September.  The C-Class model line
increased 16 percent to 34,600 (vs. 29,770).  The company expects the C-Class
to play an even stronger role in the Mercedes-Benz model line with the
upcoming debuts of coupe and wagon models.
    At the high end, the S-Class flagship sedans also achieved a record year
as sales increased 5.7 percent to 30,315 (vs. 28,678).  The top-of-the-line
CL-Class finished the year with 2,208 vehicles sold (vs. 402).
    The CLK family of coupes and cabriolets also established a sales record
for the year with 17,796, an increase of 6.5 percent (vs. 16,714).  The SLK
roadsters increased 22 percent to 12,930 (vs. 10,600).  The renowned SL
coupe/roadster, now in its 11th year on the market, posted a solid 5,409
(vs. 7,853).
    The record-breaking volume for the month of December was also led by the
M-Class coming in at 5,220 (vs. 4,801), an increase of 8.7 percent, making it
the best December on record for the model line.  Following the M-Class,
E-Class posted sales of 4,628 (vs. 4,545), an increase of 1.8 percent.  The
S-Class, MBUSA's flagship sedan model line, recorded the second-best month on
record with 3,114 vehicles sold, a decrease of 10.8 percent (vs. 3,491).
    The CL-Class continues its strong momentum in December, celebrating its
first full year on the market with record sales of 411 coupes.
    CLK coupes and cabriolets came in at 1,724 (vs. 2,468), while the SLK
model line increased 22.4 percent to 803 (vs. 656).
    Sales of the all-new C-Class rose 80 percent from December 1999 with
4,082 units sold (vs. 2,267), representing the best month ever for the
C-Class.  All-time sales records were achieved in December for the all-new
C240 and C320, which recorded sales of 1,771 and 2,189 respectively.
    December included 720 sales of AMG models, an all-time best month for
these models which underscore MBUSA's commitment to demonstrating -- and
indulging -- the high-performance aspects of the brand.
    Separately, through its Starmark certified pre-owned vehicle program,
MBUSA recorded sales of 2,703 for the month, an increase of 15.9 percent
compared to December 1999 sales of 2,333 vehicles.  On a year-to-date basis,
Starmark sales increased 26.7 percent to a total of 30,319 versus 23,934 in
December 1999.

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