FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- German automaker Daimler AG said Friday that its global sales in October slid 18 percent from the year before in increasingly difficult conditions in major markets.
The Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz, Smart and the ultra-luxury Maybach sold 93,800 cars worldwide last month compared with 114,600 a year ago.
The decline was particularly potent in the U.S. market, where sales slumped 24.5 percent to 17,200 cars sold, though from January-October sales were up 4.7 percent to 212,700. In Japan, sales fell 34 percent with just 1,800 cars sold, and dropped 11.5 percent in the first 10 months.
The only bright spot was China where sales rose nearly 43 percent with 3,700 cars sold and January-October sales leapt 52 percent to 36,100.
Since January, the carmaker said that sales rose by 2 percent in what it called "an increasingly difficult market environment in Western Europe, Japan and the U.S." The company sold 1.07 million cars through October compared with 1.05 million in 2007.
Daimler said it sold 82,500 Mercedes-Benz cars in October, down 21 percent from 103,900 the year before. Worldwide sales since January were down 2 percent to 960,300 compared with 976,600 last year.
Sales of the Smart fortwo, which was brought to the U.S. in January, rose 7 percent to 11,300 from 10,700 the year before, with buyers drawn to the fuel-efficient but tiny car. Since January, 113,200 fortwos have been sold worldwide, up 47 percent from the 77,100 sold in the first 10 months of 2007.
Shares of Daimler were down 1.6 percent to 24.52 euros ($31.52) in Frankfurt trading.