Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) reported the best first quarter in company history as sales of 19,837 new vehicles in March brought the first-quarter total to 51,577 - a 2.7 percent increase over last year.“New product launches have enabled Mercedes-Benz to kick-off the year with another record-breaking quarter. We anticipate continued success as we launch the CLK-Cabrio, E-Class wagon and E55 AMG in the coming months,” said Keith May, vice president of sales for MBUSA. From entry-level sedans to high-end coupes, MBUSA says it saw sales increases for the month and for year-to-date. For the month, the C-Class family of sports sedans, coupes and wagons rose 24.6 percent; the highly acclaimed E-Class sedans and wagons posted a 43.6 percent gain; and the all-new CLK models marked a 26.8 percent jump compared to March 2002. First-quarter sales also posted increases across product lines: the C-Class was up 16.1 percent; the E-Class jumped 35.4 percent; and the S-Class and CL-Class rose 13.2 and 7.4 percent respectively compared to the first three months in 2002. Recent extensions to the product lines also recorded gains over the first quarter of 2002, such as the company’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive vehicles (up 55.4 percent) and high-performance AMG vehicles (up 7.7 percent).Separately, through its Starmark pre-owned vehicle program, MBUSA recorded sales of 4,345, breaking last March’s previous record of 3,867 with a 12.4 percent increase. This establishes the best month ever for Starmark. On a year-to-date basis, Starmark sales increased 8.3 percent.