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Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has certainly been flying high at the beginning of the year, according to its sales performance for the first quarter of 2016 announced by the company today. Despite a challenging period in the automotive industry, MBM sold a phenomenal 2,658 units – a 41% increase over the same period last year, and the best Q1 performance in the marque’s history in the country.

This figure is 772 units higher than in the first quarter of 2015 (1,886 units) and puts Stuttgart’s year-to-date market share as of March at 2.3%, an increase of 0.5% over the previous year. Leading the charge were the bread-and-butter locally-assembled sedans, which collectively saw a 26% growth to 1,814 units.

The star of this range was the C-Class, sales of which rose a staggering 871% to 1,359 units, no doubt helped along by reduced prices announced late last year and a completely revamped range – the C 180 Avantgarde, revamped C 200 Avantgarde, C 200 Exclusive and C 300 AMG Line were all introduced in the first quarter of the year.

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It’s a less rosy story higher up – the E-Class registered a 75% drop in sales to 260 units. The company has already phased out the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid earlier in the year, and is delivering the last of the runout E 200 and E 250 Edition E models ahead of the launch of the next-generation W213 model, slated for the third quarter of this year. Sales of the S-Class also saw a 28% decline to 195 units.

Entry-level buyers have also contributed strongly to MBM’s stellar performance so far this year, with its Compact Cars range seeing a 59% increase in sales to 664 units. A nice round 300 units of the A-Class were registered in Q1 2016, 38% higher than the year before – likely buoyed by the introduction of the new facelifted range earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, sales of the CLA rose 200% to 183 units, while 159 units of the GLA found homes this year – an increase of 77% compared to the same quarter in 2015.

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At the other end of the spectrum, the ultra-rarified Dream Cars range – consisting of the AMG A 45, AMG C 63 S, AMG S 63 Coupé, AMG GT S, E-Class Coupé, CLS and Maybach S-Class – saw a collective 20 units sold in the first quarter of this year. Elsewhere, Mercedes-Benz’s new SUV range – GLC, GLE and GLE Coupé – recorded sales of 170 units.

“This achievement is clearly the result of a coordinated market offensive, which includes the extremely successful launch of a new SUV line, and bringing new customers into the Mercedes-Benz brand by providing a wider variety of vehicles,” said vice president of sales and marketing Mark Raine. “We thank our dealer network and our loyal fans for their steadfast support of the Mercedes-Benz brand.

“It has been a very eventful first quarter for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, and we are most encouraged by the results,” said president and CEO Dr Claus Weidner. “We will continue to provide the best in our offerings and customer experience through all customer touch points. We have achieved a lot, and we are not stopping here. We will keep up the momentum and remain the leading brand in the premium automotive segment.”

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Sales aside, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia also revealed a total of nine new models that will be launched this year, including three all-new models, three full model updates, two new engine variants and one facelift. One of these models that was “coming soon” was teased in a slide – although the company did not explicitly say which model it would be, the image shown on the screen was clearly the new C-Class Coupé.

As for the rest of those models, we’ve already mentioned the new E-Class, while the SLC and the S-Class Cabriolet is probably on the cards as well – judging by the fact that the company took us to test these two droptops in France last week. We can also expect the arrival of the big seven-seater GLS (née GL), the GLC Coupé and the facelifted CLA – the latter two were unveiled in Geneva in March.