FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- DaimlerChrysler said on Wednesday that sales of its Mercedes-Benz and small Smart cars rose about 2.8 percent in July from a year ago to 108,000 units.
For the first seven months of the year, however, sales of those vehicles were down about 1.3 percent from a year ago at 717,900 cars, hit by falling global auto demand, the company said in a statement.
Sales of Mercedes-Benz cars alone were up about three percent at 96,500 vehicles in July. Mercedes-Benz sales are down about 1.2 percent in the year so far.
The group, which expects its Mercedes unit to post profits this year that are about even with 2002, also said Mercedes-Benz sold 26 percent more cars in July than a year ago in the U.S. market, although deliveries were up six percent in the first seven months of the year.
Sales in Germany continued to suffer due mainly to the weak economy, DaimlerChrysler said. Mercedes-Benz sales were down eight percent from a year ago in the first seven months of the year.
Global Smart car sales rose five percent in July to 12,300 units but were down 1.7 percent in the year so far.
European car sales are expected to drop about three percent overall this year, according to analysts and industry experts.