- Mercedes-Benz in Record August Performance, Selling 155,918 Vehicles
Mercedes-Benz said it delivered 1,512,268 vehicles to customers worldwide in the first eight months of this year, thus setting a new record of 1.1 per cent.
Nigeria, where Mercedes-Benz has been one of the top premium brands, expectedly contributed significantly to the global performance, although details were not given in the new report.
The luxury automaker specifically said it sold 155,918 vehicles worldwide in August, making it the 30th consecutive month it would record global sales of more than 150,000 units. It attributed the performance to the ongoing strong demand for cars with the three-pointed star.
“Never before in the company’s history were sales of 1.5 million vehicles achieved earlier in the year,” the automaker said in a statement released on Monday.
Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz cars marketing and sales, was quoted as saying, “I’m delighted that Mercedes-Benz reached the mark of 1.5 million cars delivered earlier than ever in the year. As a strong team, we will continue to work on meeting the ongoing high demand for our vehicles, also again in terms of delivery.
“And with the EQC, we have presented the first fully-electric Sport Utility Vehicle of our EQ product and technology brand to the world public in Stockholm. We will set additional markers and impulses in the market with the EQC.”
According to the premium brand manufacturer, a new record was set by its SUVs in the first eight months of this year, delivering a total of 541,120 SUVs which it noted as recording an increase of 5.4 per cent.
“An important driver of this growth was the global popularity of the GLC and GLC Coupés. The sales success of the midsize SUVs from Mercedes-Benz will be continued with the EQC, which had its world premiere in Stockholm as the first fully electric SUV from the EQ product and technology brand,” it stated.
It said in Europe, Mercedes-Benz sold 54,989 vehicles in August, adding that in the first eight months of the year, its sales totalled 597,347 units.
“In Germany, the domestic market, Mercedes-Benz delivered 21,442 vehicles with the three-pointed star in August and a total of 195,163 cars were handed over to customers in Germany in the first eight months of this year,” it stated.
It also said more Mercedes-Benz cars were sold in the first eight months than ever before in that period in France, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Denmark.
It added that in the Asia-Pacific region, demand for Mercedes-Benz models in the first eight months of the year led to a new record of 639,184 units sold. It recalled that the brand delivered 72,342 vehicles in that region last month, said to be slightly below the prior-year level
It said in China, considered the biggest market, a new high for an August was achieved with sales of 53,295 cars, adding, “So far this year, 446,075 vehicles have been handed over to customers – more than ever before in the first eight months of a year.
“Mercedes-Benz achieved additional sales records for the first eight months also in Japan, India, Thailand and Malaysia.”
A total of 24,538 vehicles were delivered to customers in a section of the North America called NAFTA last month, the report said; just as it showed a total of 240,671 Mercedes-Benz cars were sold in the period of January to August in the region.
Mercedes-Benz delivered 199,215 vehicles in the USA in that period and 20,339 in August. The brand with the star defended its market leadership in the US premium segment in the first eight months. Thanks to strong growth in Mexico, Mercedes-Benz once again achieved record unit sales in that market for an August and for the first eight months,” it stated.
Two models, the E-Class Saloon and Estate, were said to have set a new record with sales of 25,367 units last month.
It said, “Since the market launch of the current models, more than 700,000 customers worldwide have been delighted to receive their new E-Class Saloon or Estate.
“Mercedes-Benz increased its sales of the S-Class Saloon in August by 30.3 per cent to 5,254 units. From January to August, more than 53,000 units of the S-Class Saloon were sold. Thanks to a double-digit growth rate worldwide, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Saloon achieved its highest unit sales so far in the first eight months of a year.”
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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