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Mercedes-Benz is on track to be the world’s biggest-selling luxury car brand in 2016, according to Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche — four years ahead of schedule.

Mercedes-Benz reported 182,602 worldwide car and SUV sales for November excluding Smart (up 12 per cent), taking its annual tally to 1.89 million units. This puts it well on track to pass 2 million yearly sales for the first time.

Such a number will almost certainly mean the Stuttgart marque achieves its aim of becoming the top luxury car brand by 2020 well ahead of plans.

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“We will achieve it this year, four years ahead of time,” Zetsche said in a report on Autonews Europe, adding that many people laughed at the idea when it was presented back in 2011. Benz’s Bavarian nemesis BMW has held the crown since 2005.

Mercedes-Benz’s rivals BMW and Audi AG are yet to report November sales, but for the year January to October, the figures were: Mercedes-Benz on 1.71 million (up 12 per cent), BMW on 1.65 million (up 5.5 per cent) and Audi on 1.56 million (up 4 per cent).

“With double-digit growth since the beginning of the year, we surpassed last year’s total unit sales by the Mercedes-Benz brand already in November. This makes 2016 a new record year for Mercedes-Benz,” said Daimler AG board member for sales and marketing Ola Källenius.

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Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz is tracking at 20 per cent growth in the Asia Pacific region, thanks in large part to China. Australia plays its role, though, with 33,581 car and SUV sales this year meaning growth of 15 per cent.

Mercedes has long been Australia’s top luxury brand, and this year is way ahead of BMW (26,463) and Audi (22,031), and is even beating Honda if you include commercials. Meanwhile its yearly total of about 4500 Mercedes-AMG hot cars is well above the global proportional average.

Globally, the C-Class continues to be extremely popular: In November, the C-Class sedan and Estate were the best-selling Mercedes-Benz models. Since launch of the current generation in 2014, more than a million have already been sold.

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Demand for the E-Class was stronger last month than ever before in a November, with 26,915 E-Class sedan and Estates sold, up 39 per cent. It also sold 18 per cent more SUVs, with most growth coming from the GLC.

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