STUTTGART -- DaimlerChrysler cut its 2005 vehicle sales target for its premium Mercedes-Benz brand in Germany on Thursday and said it now saw unit sales down nearly 7 percent in its most important market.
A spokeswoman for the world's fifth-biggest carmaker said the Mercedes-Benz brand now expected to sell 315,000 passenger cars in Germany, compared with 338,100 units a year ago.
In August, Daimler had forecast roughly flat sales for Mercedes-Benz in its German home market.
Unit sales in Germany by the Mercedes Car Group division -- which includes Smart minicars and Maybach luxury limousines -- fell 5.4 percent in the first nine months of 2005 to 258,000 vehicles.
The decline stemmed from model changeovers for the M-class SUV and S-class sedan, and from image problems linked to quality issues for the E-class sedan.
A problem with faulty diesel pumps early this year also caused delays in deliveries.