FRANKFURT (AP) -- Daimler AG said Friday that its core Mercedes-Benz Cars division saw sales plummet by 31 percent in January from the same month last year as the economic crisis chilled demand.
The unit -- which comprises the Mercedes-Benz brand, AMG, Smart and Maybach -- sold a total of 62,000 cars last month, down from 90,400 in January 2008.
Sales of Mercedes-Benz brand cars were down 35 percent, falling to 53,900 cars from 82,300.
Still, Daimler said it was seeing strong interest for its new E-Class sedan, which has been on the market for four weeks. The company has orders for 30,000 of the cars.
Sales of the ultracompact Smart car were up 4 percent to 8,300 from 8,000.