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Mercedes February sales down 5.8 percent

BERLIN (AP) -- Global sales of Mercedes-Benz cars dropped 5.8 percent in February compared with a year earlier as deliveries in China dropped sharply — at least in part due to the timing of this year's Chinese New Year holiday.

Daimler AG said Thursday the luxury automaker delivered 90,083 cars worldwide last month.

Sales in China dropped 47 percent to 10,134. Daimler said new year celebrations there were held in February, not January as in 2012. However, U.S. sales were up 22 percent to 22,040 and deliveries in Japan rose 13 percent to 3,300.

Deliveries in western Europe dropped 6.8 percent to 35,094. CEO Dieter Zetsche has said he's confident European auto sales will pick up later this year.

Mercedes' sales in January and February totaled 184,978 — a 1.3 percent year-on-year rise.