FRANKFURT -- Global sales at DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes Car Group fell 1.3 percent in September to 112,300 units, DaimlerChrysler said Thursday.
Sales fell 4.2 percent in the first nine months of 2004 to 872,600 vehicles, it added, reiterating it expected a sales boost in the fourth quarter from its revamped A-class compact car.
The world's fifth-biggest carmaker stuck to its forecast for 2004 sales growth at the premium car division despite disruptive but rejuvenating model changeovers this year.
Turnover of Mercedes brand vehicles fell 4.8 percent in September to 98,200 units, while sales of the tiny Smart range of cars rose 32.5 percent to 14,100 units.
Mercedes expects a sales boost from its revamped A-class car, which arrived in dealer showrooms last month. Orders for the A-class have already surpassed the 50,000 cars it aimed to sell in 2004.
Daimler also hopes the relaunch of Mercedes-Benz C-class sedans, SLK roadsters and the new Smart ForFour compact -- the brand's largest car to date -- will help spur sales at its most lucrative business, which in July abandoned its target of matching 2003 earnings this year.
The company has said Mercedes-Benz sales should come in near the 2003 level of 1.1 million vehicles.
Mercedes Car Group includes Mercedes-Benz, the Smart range and the super-luxury Maybach limousine.
It warned in July that profits would be hit by a changed model mix, the cost of new launches, adverse currency influences and stepped-up spending to fix quality problems that have tarnished its image.