Mercedes-Benz Sales Up 17.5 Percent

BERLIN (AP) -- Daimler AG says its core Mercedes-Benz brand saw car sales increase by 17.5 percent on the year in May. Strong performances in China and the United States helped lead the way.

Daimler said Monday that Mercedes-Benz global sales increased to 101,400 vehicles from 86,300 a year earlier.

Sales in China rose 121 percent, to 11,500 -- helping the company sell nearly 66 percent more cars across the Asia-Pacific. Sales in the U.S. increased 22.6 percent to 18,500.

Mercedes-Benz Cars executive Joachim Schmidt says May's figures keep the company "on course for a strong second quarter, in which we will post double-digit growth."

Sales of the compact Smart dropped 15.2 percent to 9,300. The company expects a boost from the car's new generation later this year.

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