FRANKFURT (AP) -- German carmaker Daimler AG said Friday its Mercedes Benz Cars division's worldwide sales fell 25 percent in February, as the deepening economic downturn hurt demand.
The Stuttgart-based company said sales in February fell to 72,000 cars from 96,800 in the same month of 2008.
The division's brands include Mercedes, Smart and Maybach.
Daimler said the Mercedes brand delivered 63,600 cars in February compared with 88,000 a year ago, a 28 percent decline.
The ultra-compact Smart brand sold 8,600 cars, down 2 percent from 8,800 in February 2008.
In the U.S., however, sales of Smart cars rose 29 percent to 1,400 cars from 1,100 a year earlier. Sales of the Smart in Germany also rose sharply, recording a 28 percent increase in sales for the month.
Daimler said it was also seeing increased demand for its used cars.
"The demand for our one year old preowned vehicles has also been developing very positively since the beginning of the year, with double-digit growth rates," Klaus Maier, a vice president of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars said in a statement.
In the U.S., the Mercedes brand sold 14,200 cars in February, down 24 percent from 18,600 in February a year earlier.
February sales in China, where Daimler will introduce the Smart later this year, increased 17 percent to 3,000 units from 2,500 in February 2008.
Shares of Daimler were up 3 percent at euro18.65 ($24) in Frankfurt afternoon trading.