Sales of Mercedes Benz cars in China in the first three months of the year rose 86% from a year earlier, significantly outstripping a 9.1% gain for the overall market, Reuters reported. For the full year, Daimler AG (DAI.ETR) expects sales to grow 20% year on year – a “conservative estimate,” Ulrich Walker, chairman and chief executive for Daimler Northeast Asia, said. The company sold 147,670 Mercedes-Benz cars in China in 2010. This was up 115% from the previous year but lagged behind the overall sales of competitors like Volkswagen AG’s (VOW.ETR) Audi, with 227,928 units, and BMW (BMW.ETR), with 168,998 units. Daimler said late last year that it aims to sell 300,000 Mercedes-Benz cars per year in China by 2015. Reports earlier this week said that China automakers had reported slower annual growth in car sales in the first quarter due to the rising price of oil and the expiration of tax incentives for small vehicles at the end of 2010.