A forgotten feeling swept over Mercedes-Benz in July as its sales declined 7.9% globally. In the grand scheme of a planet full of different tariffs and economies it should not be a surprise, but it follows up a 2.6% year-on-year decline in June. The amazing thing about that was that June signalled the end of 63 months of consecutive growth for the premium and luxury brand. The last time Mercedes-Benz suffered a sales contraction, Barack Obama had just started his second term as US president. While selling 1,356,350 cars and SUVs over the first seven months of 2018 is a new record for the German company and a 2.3% rise over 2017, there are significant signs that the days of easy growth are over. Mercedes-Benz found a silver lining in the result, pointing out the sales figure was the second best July it had ever had. It was clearly restrained by the rollouts of the new A-and C-Classes, while the race to fit a huge product line-up through the new WLTP emissions-test bottleneck has redu...

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