Labour unrest and the preparation for new models have been cited as a key factor in the sharp decline of Mercedes-Benz’s turnover in July.

Labour unrest and the preparation for new models have been cited as a key factor in the sharp decline of Mercedes-Benz’s turnover in July.

DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes Car Group on Thursday announced that its global sales for July fell by 9,4 per cent, and 12,3 per cent year-on-year.

Last month’s labour unrest at the Sindelfingen plant in Germany and retooling ahead of the new A-Class production have been mentioned as reasons for the drop in sales. However, the group has announced that it expected its sales across the year to rise with the release of the next-generation A-Class in September.

One analyst described DaimlerChrysler’s flaghip division’s results as “disappointing”. He said that though the expectations for the division were not that high this year, there are signs that the Mercedes’ market position is continually weakening. In June, the division's global sales had risen for the first year-on-year gain since December 2003.

The division includes Mercedes-Benz, Smart and its super-luxury Maybach limousine. DaimlerChrysler hopes its relaunched Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans, SLK roadsters and the new Smart ForFour will help boost performance for the remainder of the year.