The strong growth of Mercedes-Benz models in China has resulted in new export contracts from Europe and the US between the carmaker and finished vehicle carriers K-Line and NYK.
Starting in January, K-Line and NYK will be working on a 50:50 split of movements of Mercedes’ S-, E-, C- A-, and B-Class models from the Port of Bremerhaven in Germany to the Chinese ports of Xingang, Xinsha, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
At the same time, K-Line will start taking 100% of Mercedes vehicles from the US Port of Brunswick to the same Chinese ports, comprising M-, GL- and R-Class models built at the carmaker’s Vance plant in Alabama.
China is the world’s largest market for the S-Class, which, along with the new E-Class sedan, saw sales there treble in November, according to the company. A total of 2,000 S-Class sedans were sold during the month, while the E-Class sold 1,500. This takes S-Class sales to 12,800 for the year and E-Class sales to 10,400. The company also said that deliveries of the C-Class sedan doubled in November to 1,700 units, taking the number delivered since January to 15,100.
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes-Benz’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, told reporters that growth in 2009, which is expected to represent an increase of 60% for the full year, will continue in 2010. The company expects to boost sales mid-year with a long wheelbase version of the E-Class dedicated to the Chinese market.