DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen increase worldwide sales

Sttutgart/Wolfsburg, Germany: Volkswagen AG and DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's fourth- and fifth-largest carmakers, have reported increases in worldwide car sales for 2005 with the introduction of new models such as the Mercedes-Benz R-Class and a revamped Volkswagen Passat.

DaimlerChrysler reported a 3.8 per cent rise in sales to 4.05 million units, as Chrysler reported a 4.7 per cent rise to 2.83 million vehicles. Mercedes Car Group sales increased 1.7 per cent to 1.22 million units, while Volkswagen sold 5.34 million units, marking a 3.2 per cent increase.

Both the carmakers have benefited from increased sales to regions such as the U.S. and Asia, as well as Europe. Mercedes-Benz's December sales climbed 10 per cent to 116,100 vehicles. Full-year sales for the German brand rose 1.6 per cent to 1.08 million cars and light trucks.

DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz brand is introducing new models in an effort to regain the No.1 ranking in luxury car sales that it lost to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in March. Chrysler, in direct contrast to larger US rivals General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., has been winning back U.S market share for the past two years. Chrysler's international sales, which grew 9 per cent last year, rose faster than domestic sales, with the company having sold 180,088 vehicles outside North America last year, especially in Italy, China and Germany.