Deliveries fell to 568,400 cars and vans in the January-March period, while sales of battery electric vehicles dropped even more sharply, by 9%, to 50,500 vehicles, it said in a statement.

First-quarter sales in Europe were down 2%, in Asia they fell 15% and in north America, they dropped 1%, Mercedes Benz added.

Peer BMW's sales rose 1% in the quarter, with sales of fully electric vehicles adding 27.9%.

(Reporting by Andrey Sychev; Editing by Madeline Chambers)