FRANKFURT -- Unit sales at DaimlerChrysler's premium division Mercedes Car Group rose 1.3 percent in October to 106,500 vehicles as stronger demand for its core Mercedes-Benz brand offset weaker sales of Smart small cars.
The world's fifth-biggest carmaker said in a statement on Monday that deliveries to customers in the first 10 months of 2005 gained 0.8 percent to 985,100 units.
Mercedes-Benz unit sales grew 4.6 percent in October to 94,200 units, bringing 10-month sales to 868,100 vehicles, up 0.4 percent.
Sales of Smarts fell 18.8 percent in October to 12,300 cars but were up 3.2 percent in the first 10 months to 117,000 units despite a tough market for the small car segment, it said.
The flagship Mercedes-Benz brand has gained sales momentum thanks to brisk demand for the A-class compact and for new models launched this year including the M-class SUV and B-class compact sports wagon.
More than 37,000 customers bought a B-class car since the model hit the European market in June, it said, while October deliveries of the M class rose 59 percent to about 9,300 units.
It forecast another boost from its top-line S-class executive car that made its debut in September. Deliveries rose by a quarter in October to 5,100 units.
The new R-class sports wagon roll-out in the United States got "positive feedback", it said.
The Mercedes Car Group includes the Mercedes-Benz, Smart minicar and Maybach luxury limousine brands. It has forecast the number of vehicles leaving its factories will be roughly steady in 2005, while retail sales will rise.
Arch-rival BMW reports October sales on Tuesday.