Mercedes-Benz has posted strong first-quarter numbers, driven by better electric and premium vehicle sales.
The automaker sold 503,500 units globally, a 3% increase from the same period in 2022, although performance varied substantially between regions. European sales grew 8% year-over-year, the best improvement overall, followed by 3% in Asia and 1% in North America. For the U.S., Mercedes-Benz reported a slight decline of 0.3%. While its presence outside these markets is comparatively small, the brand’s remaining segments suffered under international tensions between Russia and Ukraine, falling 24%.
The company’s global EV sales grew 89% compared to last year, rising from 27,400 to 51,600 units. In the U.S. alone, battery-powered car sales grew 327%, driven by the launches of the EQB SUV, EQE sedan, EQE SUV and EQS SUV. The brand’s electric segment now accounts for 10% of its total market, compared to just 6% in Q1 of 2022. The automaker’s top-end vehicle sales also grew by 29% in the U.S. and 18% globally.
In a press release, Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management at Merdeces-Benz, called the premium and EV segments “the driving force behind our sales result in the first quarter.” Other automakers have displayed similar attitudes toward EVs in their early-year reports. Ford reported a Q1 sales increase of 41% for its electric models, while General Motors broke its EV sales record with 20,000 units. While electric cars continue to be a niche product, the segment has shown undeniable strength so far in 2023.