Despite an improvement in the second half of the year, Daimler posted a 10.1% drop in 2009 sales.
The Daimler group sold almost 1.13 million Mercedes-Benz, Smart city cars and other autos last year. Smart sales were 13.2% lower than in 2008.
In December alone, however, the group saw a 12.1% increase from the same month a year earlier, while fourth quarter sales gained 13%.
"We were able to successively improve our sales in the second half, following a first half marked by a sharp decline," Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche said.
Emerging markets, China in particular, were largely responsible for the second-half increase as demand for larger Class E and Class S autos got stronger.
Chinese sales posted the biggest single market increase last year, gaining 68.7% to 71,900 vehicles.
European sales slumped 12.8% however to 645,800 while U.S. sales were down 17.8% at 205,200.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010