Global car sales slowdown drags down Mercedes-Benz maker

German carmaker Daimler endured a weak start to the year, echoing trouble at other major manufacturers, as a global economic slowdown weighed on sales, particularly in the big Chinese market.

The company said Friday that vehicle sales fell 4% to 773 800 units, with demand for its signature Mercedes-Benz luxury cars down slightly in almost all regions. The company noted that the overall market for cars was being weighed down by China, which saw a double-digit percentage drop in sales in the first quarter.

Daimler's net income fell to €2.1-billion ($2.3-billion) in the first quarter from €2.3-billion euros during the same period a year earlier, while revenue dipped to €39.7-billion from €39.8-billion.

The company said that besides a fall in demand, there were problems with high inventories and bottlenecks in the supply chain.

"We cannot and will not be satisfied with this-as expected- moderate start to the year," said Chairman Dieter Zetsche.

Daimler maintained its earnings outlook for the year despite warning that the world economy is likely to continue to slow.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who should have replaced Sergio Perez at this weekend's British GP?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Sebastian Vettel - At least he'll get a taste of what the 2021 car will be like
26% - 560 votes
Nico Hulkenberg - He's been with the team before
28% - 588 votes
Fernando Alonso - A true racer, and the fastest Spaniard around
33% - 708 votes
Jenson Button - Any team can benefit from a champion driver
13% - 278 votes
Vote