Mercedes-Benz Canada shatters numerous all-time sales records and reports 2008 to be the company's best year ever with deliveries exceeding 24,000 units



    
    -   Best year ever Mercedes-Benz and smart combined sales with 24,117
        units delivered
    -   Best year ever Mercedes-Benz sales with 20,368 units delivered,
        surpassing the 20,000 unit mark in Canada for the first time in the
        company's history
    -   Best year ever Mercedes-Benz passenger cars sales with 15,293 units
        delivered
    -   Best year ever Mercedes-Benz light trucks sales with 5,075 units
        delivered
    -   Best year ever pre-owned sales with 6,879 units delivered
    

    TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - Mercedes-Benz Canada reported today multiple
all-time sales records for 2008 including its best full-year sales results
ever with 24,117 units sold. This represents 5,570 additional units over the
previous year, and an increase of 30.0% for combined Mercedes-Benz, smart,
AMG, SLR and Maybach vehicles delivered this year.
    Mercedes-Benz vehicle sales were up 4,254 units in 2008; a 26.4% gain
which also amounted to an exciting best ever year-end total of 20,368 units.
Passenger car sales also reported their best year ever with 15,293 units;
accounting for 3,302 more units or an improvement of 27.5% over last year. The
second generation smart fortwo was launched in December 2007 and a total of
3,749 fortwos units were sold since then; up 1,316 units, or 54.1%.
    In December, a total of 1,588 Mercedes-Benz and 150 smart fortwos were
registered. This was a 12.5% gain from December 2007 for Mercedes-Benz, and a
progress of 4.9% on a combined brand basis.
    On the luxury light truck side, the M-Class, R-Class and GL-Class
continued to do exceptionally well in December. These SUV's reported a 46.0%
gain for the month and finished the year 23.1% ahead with a total of 5,075
units delivered in 2008.
    Pre-owned sales in December were tallied at 433 units. This brought the
12 month total to 6,879 units, up 8.4% from last year which also made it a
record-breaking year for pre-owned Mercedes-Benz sales in Canada.
    Overall, 2008 was another banner year for Mercedes-Benz Canada, and the
consistent story was monthly sales records. The company's continued sustained
momentum can be partially attributed to the exciting range of segment-leading
vehicles that offers customers unmatched value across the entire product
portfolio. The year registered some important milestones including the launch
of the new facelifted SLK-Class, SL-Class, and CLS-Class, the refreshed
B-Class, and the introduction of the ML320 BlueTEC, R320 BlueTEC, and the
GL320 BlueTEC models. BlueTEC's cleanest diesel technology continues the
company's long and successful history with diesel, and offers customers 20 to
40 percent greater fuel efficiency than a comparable gasoline engine while
still complying with the strict North American BIN5 and ULEV emissions.
    The success of the all-new C-Class continued throughout 2008; more than
7,600 units were reported sold which by far eclipse any Mercedes-Benz
individual Class record sales to date by a huge margin. The sporty and
versatile B-Class also enjoyed record breaking sales with 3207 units, and the
luxurious E-Class posted impressive sales results for the year. The flagship
S-Class continued to outsell all of its competitors and rule in its respective
segment, the CL-Class remained buoyant and the legendary SL-Class closed the
year 39.2% ahead of 2007, allowing Mercedes-Benz to clearly maintain its
significant lead in the high-end luxury category.
    Mercedes-Benz luxury light truck sales continued to expand in Canada, and
were up a notable 23.1% for the year. R-Class deliveries remained strong, and
M-Class and GL-Class sales grew 31.1% and 22.7% respectively for the year.
Diesel SUV sales totaled 3,449 units in 2008. The exciting roster of
Mercedes-Benz light trucks will be further enhanced with the launch of the
GLK-Class in early 2009 as a 2010 model. The GLK350 4MATIC will offer
customers the perfect balance of style, versatility and performance with a
powerful 3.5-litre, 268 horsepower V6 engine and generous list of standard
safety and convenience features.
    Mercedes-Benz models continued to earn numerous prestigious awards
throughout the year. At the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's
(AJAC) annual Canadian Car of the Year "TestFest", the CL550 4MATIC and SL63
AMG tied for first place in the Best New Prestige Car category while the
M-Class BlueTEC diesel was named Best New SUV/CUV (over $60k). Motoring 2008
also named the M-Class SUV/CUV of the Year (over $60k), and selected the
S-Class as their pick for Prestige Car of the Year. World of Wheels presented
their Editors choice awards to the E-Class, S-Class and CL-Class. L'AUTO 2009
awarded the C63 AMG, E-Class BlueTEC, S-Class, GLK-Class, ML320 BlueTEC and
the GL-Class the "Best New" title in each of their respective categories, and
also named the BlueTEC clean diesel system their pick for Technology of the
Year. L'Annuel de L'Automobile named the S-Class the Best Luxury Car over
$100k and the C-Class as best luxury car under $50k.
    It was another exciting year for smart. The brand celebrated its tenth
year anniversary since its global market launch and its 4th successful year in
the Canadian marketplace. Natural Resources Canada presented the smart fortwo
an ecoENERGY for Vehicles award for being the most fuel efficient vehicle in
the two-seater category. smart also continued its Test Drive Tour in Eastern
Canada with a three city program in Québec, Montreal and Ottawa.
    The award-winning 4MATIC(TM) permanent all-wheel-drive system was added
as standard equipment to the CL550 4MATIC for 2009, replacing the rear wheel
drive model. Now available in four passenger car Classes (C-, E-, S-, and
CL-Class), and across the entire luxury light truck vehicle range in all SUV
classes, (M-, R-, GL-, G-Class, and for 2010 the GLK-Class), the 4MATIC(TM)
system offers drivers maximum confidence and handling control by delivering
optimal traction on any road condition. A ratio of 75.6% C-Class, 84.4%
E-Class, 93.1% S-Class were sold as 4MATIC(TM) models. Total 4MATIC(TM) volume
represented 65.6% of overall 2008 sales across all model lines this year,
excluding smart.
    Customer Satisfaction remained a key focus area for Mercedes-Benz Canada
in 2008. The Mercedes-Benz Excellence Program was launched in 2007 to maximize
an all-encompassing ownership experience for customers, and this important
program was continued through 2008 to ensure satisfaction at every level of
the corporate and dealership organizations.
    Several new dealership facilities were opened including: Duval
Mercedes-Benz in Boucherville, QC, Franke Ste-Agathe in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts,
QC, Mercedes-Benz Durham in Whitby, ON, M-B Oakville Autohaus in Oakville, ON,
and Mercedes-Benz Saskatoon in Saskatoon, SK. In addition, the complete
rebuilding and expansion of the flagship Mercedes-Benz Downtown store on
Dundas Street East in Toronto was completed. In Vancouver, the Richmond and
the North Vancouver dealerships are in the midst of overall facelifts.
Construction has also started for the new dealerships of Van Herpt Motors in
Kingston, ON, Garden MotorCar in Burlington, ON, and Performance Cars Ltd. in
St. Catharines, ON.
    President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada, Marcus Breitschwerdt,
remarked: "Our whole team looks proudly back at 2008; it was another
exceptional year for Mercedes-Benz Canada, but one that will definitely be
remembered in the company's history for setting an historic milestone with
more than 20,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold. My sincere thanks and
appreciation go out to our entire dealer network and to all the employees who
worked tirelessly to exceed customer expectations throughout the year in order
to achieve these outstanding results."
    He adds, "Our entire product lineup continues to be well-positioned in
the market and is supported by competitive programs that offer exceptional
value for our customers. As 2008 draws to an end and we start another exciting
year, I'd like to express my gratitude to all of our valued customers and
reiterate my commitment to all existing and potential customers that our focus
for 2009 and beyond will be to offer the highest level of customer
satisfaction possible in every aspect of the purchase and ownership
experience. With our industry leading product portfolio and unwavering focus
on excellence at every level, I am truly excited at the prospect for 2009."





For further information:

For further information: JoAnne Caza, (416) 847-7550,
caza@mercedes-benz.ca; Michael Minielly, (416) 847-7509,
minielly@mercedes-benz.ca

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