BERLIN (Reuters) -- Sales at Mercedes-Benz rose 16 percent in March to 183,467, the highest-ever level recorded for any month in the automaker's history. The double-digit gain was driven by robust demand in Europe, China and the U.S. and strong sales of the C class, as well as Mercedes' compacts and SUVs.
European sales rose 16 percent to 89,041 last month, while China deliveries grew 21 percent to 30,124, Daimler said in a statement today. Deliveries in the U.S. were up 9.2 percent to 29,921.
Record monthly deliveries last month drove up first-quarter sales to 429,602 models, exceeding last year's record by 15 percent and marking the best first quarter in the company's history, Daimler said.
Sales of the C-class sedan and wagon rose 58 percent last month, while demand for SUVs and compact cars rose 32 percent and 25 percent respectively.
Sales at Daimler unit Smart increased by 25 percent to 11,984, buoyed by new models, taking three-month results to 28,744, a rise of 23 percent.
March sales at the Mercedes-Benz Cars unit, which includes the Mercedes and Smart brands, were up 16 percent to 195,451. Through March, they rose 15 percent to 458,346.
Mercedes rivals BMW and Audi have not yet published March sales figures.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report