2018 Global: Mercedes-Benz Worldwide Sales

In 2018, Mercedes-Benz increased worldwide sales by 0.9% to a record 2,310,185 cars – the eighth consecutive record year for the leading global premium car brand.

In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the world’s best-selling premium luxury car brand for the third consecutive year. Mercedes-Benz increased worldwide sales by less than a percentage point to 2,310,185 cars, which was the eighth consecutive record year for the German carmaker. Mercedes-Benz sales were particularly helped by continued strong sales in China. Smart sales were 4.6% lower at 128,802 deliveries worldwide in 2018.

Mercedes-Benz Sales By Region in 2018 (Full Year)

Mercedes-Benz reported the following sales per brand and major market for 2018 (January to December):

 Jan.-Dec. 2018Change in %
Mercedes-Benz Cars2,438,987+0.6
Mercedes-Benz Unit Sales  
– thereof Germany303,862+0.1
– thereof China652,996+11.1
– thereof USA315,959-6.3

Strong Mercedes-Benz Sales in China in 2018

The number of 943,473 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars delivered to customers in the Asia-Pacific sales region was higher than ever before in one year (+7.8%).

China was once again the company’s biggest sales market – not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but worldwide. Last year, 652,996 cars with the three-pointed star were handed over to customers. The strategy of “Made in China, for China” therefore helped Mercedes-Benz to achieve another sales record in 2018 with an increase of 11.1%. And together with the models sold of the smart brand, the car division of Daimler AG was the first premium manufacturer to pass the milestone of 600,000 cars delivered in China in one year – a milestone already reached in November.

Growth in unit sales to a new record was achieved also in South Korea (+4.9%), the second-largest market in the Asia-Pacific region. And Mercedes-Benz delivered more passenger cars than ever before in one year also in Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Mercedes-Benz Sales in Europe in 2018

In the Europe region, a total of 933,697 passenger cars were delivered to customers in 2018 (-2.3%). SUVs, the S-Class Saloon and the new A-Class recorded the highest growth.

In Germany, 303,862 cars with the three-pointed star were sold in the past twelve months (+0.1%), thus secured market leadership for Mercedes-Benz in the premium segment of its domestic market once again in 2018. The double-digit growth of the new A-Class contributed to this in recent months.

Mercedes-Benz set new sales records in many European markets, including Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Hungary.

Mercedes-Benz Sales in NAFTA in 2018

In the NAFTA region, 378,013 Mercedes-Benz passenger cars were handed over to customers from January to December (-5.6%). Mercedes-Benz thus continued to be the best-selling premium brand in the NAFTA region in 2018.

In the United States, 315,959 vehicles with the star were sold in 2018 (-6.3%). Mercedes-Benz was able to maintain its market leadership in the premium segment in the United States for the third year in a row and increased its sales to a new record level in the important SUV segment there.

In Mexico, more vehicles were delivered than ever before last year (+8.4%).

Mercedes-Benz was also the best-selling premium brand in Canada, where it maintained its market leadership for the fifth year in a row.

Mercedes-Benz Model Sales in 2018 (Full Year)

Mercedes-Benz reported the following sales for some models and sectors in 2018:

Record Mercedes-Benz SUV Sales in 2018

With 820,721 units sold and a growth rate of 1.9%, Mercedes-Benz SUVs made a significant contribution to the sales success of last year. In all three core regions Asia-Pacific, Europe and NAFTA region, more SUVs with the star were sold than ever before.

This segment now accounts for more than a third of all Mercedes-Benz sales. The main markets in 2018 were China, the United States and Germany.

The best-selling SUVs last year were the GLC and the GLA. The success story of off-road vehicles with the star is set to be continued in 2019 by the GLE, the EQC, as well as the model upgrade of the GLC and GLC Coupé among others.

Rise in Compact Cars Sold by Mercedes-Benz in 2018

In the year of the A-Class model change, more than 609,000 customers worldwide received their new A-Class, B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake or GLA. This means that every fourth vehicle sold by Mercedes-Benz in 2018 was a compact car.

The two largest markets for compact cars last year were China and Germany. The new A-Class recorded global growth of 3.4% in 2018 and achieved a strong sales growth of 21.8% in Germany, its domestic market. Mercedes-Benz will continue to build on this success in 2019 with further models of the next generation of compact cars – including the A-Class Saloon, the B-Class and the CLA.

C-Class Top-Selling Mercedes-Benz Worldwide in 2018

The C-Class Saloon and Estate were again the highest-volume Mercedes-Benz models in the year of the model upgrade. About 397,000 units of these two models were sold last year.

The long-wheelbase version of the C-Class Saloon, which is built and sold exclusively in China, set a new record with a double-digit growth. Developing a vehicle in China for China pays off and shows how important it is to respond to local customers’ needs: China was both the largest and fastest-growing market for the C-Class in 2018. Overall, every second C-Class Saloon was sold in the Asia-Pacific region last year, setting a new record (+11.4%).

Record Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sales in 2018

From January to December 2018, more than 355,000 units of the E-Class Saloon and Estate were delivered to customers. In the second full year of sales of the new generation, an increase of 1.3% was achieved.

Although Mercedes-Benz is constantly expanding its portfolio, no year before has seen as many E-Class models sold as in the past twelve months. An important driver of this growth is the continuing popularity of the long-wheelbase version in China (+32.7%).

Strong S-Class Sales Worldwide in 2018

The S-Class Saloon continued to enjoy great popularity in 2018: Approximately one-and-a-half years after the model upgrade, 77,927 units of the S-Class Saloon were sold in 2018 (+12.2%). The S-Class Saloon also achieved sales growth of 7% in Europe.

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Saloon is very successful and stands for the utmost exclusivity and quality: In 2018, more Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Saloons were sold than in any previous year (+21.8%). More than two-thirds of these vehicles went to customers in China.

V-Class and X-Class Sales Worldwide in 2018

In 2018, the V-Class set a new sales record for a full year with sales of 62,699 units. From January to December 2018, unit sales increased by 6.8%. Demand for the multipurpose vehicle was particularly strong in Germany. The strongest absolute growth was recorded in China.

The X-Class has been available in Europe since late 2017 and was successfully launched in additional core markets such as South Africa and Australia in 2018. The 6-cylinder engine, which can be ordered for the X-Class since July 2018, has delivered further sales impetus. In total, more than 14,000 units of the pickup with the star were sold in 2018.

Lower AMG Worldwide Sales in 2018

AMG, the performance and sports car brand from Mercedes-Benz, achieved six-digit unit sales last year, as well as in 2017. Despite delays in certification in some international markets, 118,204 vehicles worldwide were handed over to customers last year (-10.4%).

In China and Japan, two of AMG’s main sales markets, the Affalterbach-based company achieved double-digit growth rates in 2018, setting new records in both markets.

The past year at Mercedes-AMG was characterized by the continuous expansion and shift of the product portfolio. With the “53” models of the CLS, E-Class Coupés and Cabriolets, three new models with hybrid functions and a new type designation were added in 2018. Another highlight was the market launch of the AMG GT 4-door Coupé, the third sports car developed entirely in-house, following the SLS and the GT.

Smart Car Sales Worldwide in 2018

In the year of its 20th anniversary, the smart brand achieved its third-strongest sales of the past decade: 128,802 customers opted for a smart fortwo or smart forfour during 2018 (-4.6%).

A significant increase in sales was achieved in Germany, where more than 41,000 units of the urban microcar were delivered between January and December (+14.0%).

The smart enjoyed great popularity also in China, where it achieved its second-best full-year sales since its launch in that market in 2009.

The changeover of the smart into an electric brand made further progress: 2018 was the first year of full availability of all three smart models with electric drive. Never before have so many units of the electric smart models been sold in a year as in 2018.

With the integration of the electric smart into the EQ product and technology brand last spring, the three electric smart models represent the first series-produced models in the EQ family. The aim is to convert the smart brand to electric drive in Europe completely by 2020, following the conversion already completed in the United States, Canada and Norway.

Worldwide Car Sales per Brand in 2018

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.