Daimler is aiming for a jump of more than 10% in sales of Mercedez-Benz cars in China this year, according to Klaus Maier, the company’s president and CEO. “The auto market in China is picking up again,” Maier said in Shanghai Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. “We are quite confident for the remaining nine months.” Despite total passenger car sales declining by as much as 2% – and luxury sales dropping 8% – in the first two months of the year in China, Mercedez-Benz posted strong numbers in the first quarter. Daimler sold more than 11,000 of the vehicles, up more than 30% on the same period in 2008. In March alone, it cleared 5,000 units, a 50% year-on-year gain. Expensive overseas car brands have largely managed to withstand the recent slowdown in China’s auto sales and Maier expects the premium-sedan market to outperform the overall industry this year.