|Founded||28 June 1926|
|Ola Källenius, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars|
|2.3 million cars worldwide (+0.9%) (2018) |
Mercedes-Benz (German: [m'tse:d?s?b?nts, -d?s-]) is a German global automobile marque and a division of Daimler AG. Mercedes-Benz is known for luxury vehicles, vans, trucks, buses, coaches and ambulances. The headquarters is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the largest seller of premium vehicles in the world, having sold 2.31 million passenger cars.
Mercedes-Benz origins' come from Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's 1901 Mercedes and Karl Benz's 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the first internal combustion engine in a self-propelled automobile. The fuel was not gasoline, it was a much more volatile petroleum spirit with several names including ligrane/ligrain/ligroin. This was used as a degreaser, spot remover, paint thinner, etc. and was so quick to burn or explode, it was not stored inside. The slogan for the brand is "the best or nothing".
Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first internal combustion engine in a car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, financed by Bertha Benz dowery and patented in January 1886, and Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine later that year. The Mercedes automobile was first marketed in 1901 by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Daimler Motors Corporation).
Emil Jellinek, a European automobile entrepreneur who worked with DMG, created the trademark in 1902, naming the 1901 Mercedes 35 hp after his daughter Mercedes Jellinek. Jellinek was a businessman and marketing strategist who promoted "horseless" Daimler automobiles among the highest circles of society in his adopted home, which, at that time, was a meeting place for the "Haute Volée" of France and Europe, especially in winter. His customers included the Rothschild family and other well-known personalities. But Jellinek's plans went further: as early as 1901, he was selling Mercedes cars in the New World as well, including US billionaires Rockefeller, Astor, Morgan, and Taylor. At a race in Nice in 1899, Jellinek drove under the pseudonym "Monsieur Mercédès", a way of concealing the competitor's real name as was normal and very regularly done in those days. The race ranks as the hour of birth of the Mercedes-Benz brand. In 1901, the name "Mercedes" was registered by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) worldwide as a protected trademark. The first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz's and Gottlieb Daimler's companies into the Daimler-Benz company on 28 June of the same year.
Gottlieb Daimler was born on 17 March 1834 in Schorndorf. After training as a gunsmith and working in France, he attended the Polytechnic School in Stuttgart from 1857 to 1859. After completing various technical activities in France and England, he started working as a draftsman in Geislingen in 1862. At the end of 1863, he was appointed workshop inspector in a machine tool factory in Reutlingen, where he met Wilhelm Maybach in 1865.
Throughout the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz produced the 770 model, a car that was popular during Germany's Nazi period. Adolf Hitler was known to have driven these cars during his time in power, with bulletproof windshields. Most of the surviving models have been sold at auctions to private buyers. One of them is currently on display at the War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. The pontiff's Popemobile has often been sourced from Mercedes-Benz. In 1944, 46,000 forced labourers were used in Daimler-Benz's factories to bolster Nazi war efforts. The company later paid $12 million in reparations to the labourers' families. Mercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety innovations that later became common in other vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is one of the best-known and established automotive brands in the world.
For information relating to the famous three-pointed star, see under the title Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, including the merger into Daimler-Benz.
Daimler's ultra-luxury brand Maybach was under Mercedes-Benz cars division until December 2012, when the production stopped due to poor sales volumes. It now exists under the Mercedes-Maybach name, with the models being ultra-luxury versions of Mercedes cars, such as the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600. In November 2019, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 SUV debuted.
Daimler cooperates with BYD Auto to make and sell a battery-electric car called Denza in China. In 2016, Daimler announced plans to sell Mercedes-Benz branded all-electric battery cars in China.Beijing Benz is a joint venture with BAIC Group to produce Mercedes-Benz branded cars in China. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz apologized for inciting controversy in China by quoting the Dalai Lama on an Instagram post.
Beside its native Germany, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are also manufactured or assembled in:
|Algeria||Africa||Manufactures buses and trucks in cooperation with SNVI (Actros, Zetros, Unimog, and G-Class, Sprinter).|
|Argentina||South America||Manufactures buses, trucks, the Vito and the Sprinter van. This is the first Mercedes-Benz factory outside of Germany. Built in 1951.|
|Australia||Australia||Various models were assembled at the Australian Motor Industries facility in Port Melbourne from 1959 to 1965.|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Europe|
|Brazil||South America||Manufactures trucks and buses. Established in 1956. The A-Class (W168) was produced from 1999 to 2005 and the C-Class was produced until 2010 as well.|
|Canada||North America||Fuel cell plant in Burnaby, British Columbia, opened 2012.|
|Colombia||South America||Assembly of buses, Established in Soacha 2012 and Funza 2015|
|Egypt||Africa||Via Egyptian German Automotive Company E-Class, C-Class and GLK|
|Finland||Europe||Valmet Automotive, New A-series (W176) is manufactured in Uusikaupunki since late 2013, being the first M-B passenger car ever built in that country.|
|Hungary||Europe||Manufacturing plant in Kecskemét, making B-class and CLA.|
|Jordan||Asia||Bus company factory, Elba House, Amman.|
|India||Asia||Bangalore (MBRDI), Pune (Passenger cars). Chennai (Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.) Buses, Trucks & Engine Manufacturing unit.|
|Indonesia||Asia / Australia||Manufactures E250 Avantgarde and E300AMG E-class vehicles.|
|Malaysia||Asia||Assembly of C, E and S class vehicles by DRB-HICOM.|
|Mexico||North America||Mercedes-Benz Mexico fully manufactures some Mercedes and Daimler vehicles completely from locally built parts (C-Class, E-Class, M-Class, International trucks, Axor, Atego, and Mercedes Buses), manufactures other models in complete knock down kits (CL-Class, CLK-Class, SL-Class, SLK-Class) and manufactures a select number of models in semi knockdown kits which use both imported components and locally sourced Mexican components (S-Class, CLS-Class, R-Class, GL-Class, Sprinter).|
|Nigeria||Africa||Assembly of buses, trucks, utility motors and the Sprinter van|
|Russia||Eurasia||Joint venture Mercedes-Benz Car Trucks Vostok in Naberezhnye Chelny (jointly Kamaz). Available in trucks Actros, Axor, multi-purpose auto four wheel drive medium trucks Unimog. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic is also produced in Russia.|
|Serbia||Europe||FAP produces Mercedes-Benz trucks under license.|
|Spain||Europe||Factory at Vitoria-Gasteiz Mercedes-Benz Vito, Viano and V-Class have been built there.|
|South Africa||Africa||The assembly plant is located in East London, in the Eastern Cape province, where both right and left hand versions of the C-class are built.|
|South Korea||Asia||Mercedes-Benz Musso and MB100; Ssangyong Rexton models manufactured by SsangYong Motor Company.|
|Taiwan||Asia||Assembly of Actros by the Shung Ye Group|
|Thailand||Asia||Completely Knocked Down (CKD) production of C, E, S Classes and Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) production of CLA, GLA, C-coupe, C43 AMG, GLC, GLC-coupe, GLC-coupe 43 AMG, GLE and CLS. It has been unofficially regarded as the largest Mercedes-Benz factory by number of class produced under one roof. The factory is operated by contract manufacture the Thonburi Group|
|Turkey||Eurasia||Mercedes-Benz Türk A.?.|
|United Kingdom||Europe||The SLR sports car was built at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. Brackley, Northamptonshire, is home to the Mercedes Grand Prix factory, and Brixworth, Northamptonshire is the location of Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines|
|United States||North America||The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Sport Utility, the full-sized GL-Class Luxury Sport Utility and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles are all built at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International production facility near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Trucks (6,000 per year in the early eighties) were once assembled in Hampton, Virginia.|
|Vietnam||Asia||Assembly of E-Class, C-Class, S-Class, GLK-Class and Sprinter. Established in 1995.|
Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz has maintained a reputation for its quality and durability. Objective measures looking at passenger vehicles, such as J. D. Power surveys, demonstrated a downturn in reputation in these criteria in the late 1990s and early 2000s. By mid-2005, Mercedes temporarily returned to the industry average for initial quality, a measure of problems after the first 90 days of ownership, according to J. D. Power. In J. D. Power's Initial Quality Study for the first quarter of 2007, Mercedes showed dramatic improvement by climbing from 25th to 5th place and earning several awards for its models. For 2008, Mercedes-Benz's initial quality rating improved by yet another mark, to fourth place. On top of this accolade, it also received the Platinum Plant Quality Award for its Mercedes' Sindelfingen, Germany assembly plant. J. D. Power's 2011 US Initial Quality and Vehicle Dependability Studies both ranked Mercedes-Benz vehicles above average in build quality and reliability. In the 2011 UK J. D. Power Survey, Mercedes cars were rated above average. A 2014 iSeeCars.com study for Reuters found Mercedes to have the lowest vehicle recall rate.
Mercedes-Benz offers a full range of passenger, light commercial and heavy commercial equipment. Vehicles are manufactured in multiple countries worldwide. The Smart marque of city cars are also produced by Daimler AG.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now part of the Daimler Trucks division and includes companies that were part of the DaimlerChrysler merger. Gottlieb Daimler sold the world's first truck in 1886. The first factory to be built outside Germany after WWII was in Argentina. It originally built trucks, many of which were modified independently to buses, popularly named Colectivo. Today, it builds buses, trucks, the Vito and the Sprinter van.
Mercedes-Benz has been making buses since 1895 in Mannheim in Germany. Since 1995, the brand of Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches is under the umbrella of EvoBus GmbH, belonging 100% to the Daimler AG. Mercedes-Benz produces a wide range of buses and coaches, mainly for Europe and Asia. The first model was produced by Karl Benz in 1895.
Until 1994, Mercedes-Benz utilized an alphanumeric system for categorizing their vehicles, consisting of a number sequence approximately equal to the engine's displacement in liters multiplied by 100, followed by an arrangement of alphabetical suffixes, indicating body style and engine type.
Some models in the 1950s also had lower-case letters (b, c, and d) to indicate specific trim levels. For other models, the numeric part of the designation does not match the engine displacement. This was done to show the model's position in the model range independent of displacement or in the price matrix. For these vehicles, the actual displacement in litres is suffixed to the model designation. An exception was the 190-class with the numeric designation of "190" as to denote its entry-level in the model along with the displacement label on the right side of the boot (190E 2.3 for 2.3-litre 4-cylinder petrol motor, 190D 2.5 for 2.5-litre 5-cylinder diesel motor, and so forth). Some older models (such as the SS and SSK) did not have a number as part of the designation at all.
For the 1994 model year, Mercedes-Benz revised the naming system. Models were divided into "classes" denoted by an arrangement of up to three letters (see "Current model range" above), followed by a three-digit (or two-digit for AMG models, with the number approximately equal to the displacement in litres multiplied by 10) number related to the engine displacement as before. Variants of the same model such as an estate version or a vehicle with a diesel engine are no longer given a separate letter. The SLR and SLS supercars do not carry a numerical designation.
Today, many numerical designations no longer reflect the engine's actual displacement, but more of the relative performance and marketing position. Despite its engine displacement in two litres, the powerplant in the A45 AMG produces 355 brake horsepower so the designation is higher as to indicate the greater performance. Another example is the E250 CGI having greater performance than the E200 CGI due to the different engine tuning even though both have 1.8-litre engines. From the marketing perspective, E200 seems more "upscale" than E180. Recent AMG models use the "63" designation (in honor of the 1960s 6.3-litre M100 engine) despite being equipped with either a 6.2-litre (M156), a 5.5-litre (M157) or even a 4.0-litre engine.
Some models carry further designations indicating special features:
Model designation badges can be removed at the request of the customer.
Rationalisation of the model nomenclature was announced in November 2014 for future models. The changes consolidate many confusing nomenclature and their placements in the model range such as CL-Class is now called the S-Class Coupé. The naming structure is divided into four categories: core, off-road vehicle/SUV, 4-door coupé, and roadster. AMG GT, and V-Class are unaffected by the change. In October 2016, Mercedes unveiled the X-Class; a pickup truck built on the Nissan Navara. At the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the company announced the EQ, a family of upcoming battery electric vehicles based on a modular platform, expected to represent up to 25% of its global sales by 2025.
|Core||Off-Road Vehicles/SUV||4-Door Coupé||Roadster|
Note: The CLA is positioned between the A- and B-Class models, while the CLS sits between the E- and S-Classes.
In addition to the revised nomenclature, Mercedes-Benz has new nomenclature for the drive systems.
|Natural Gas Drive||c for "compressed natural gas"||B 200 c|
|d for "diesel"||E 350 d
GLA 200 d
|e for "electric"||S 500 e
B 250 e
|Fuel Cell||f for "fuel cell"||B 200 f|
|h for "hybrid"||S 400 h
E 300 h
|4MATIC||4MATIC (4-wheel drive)||E 400 4MATIC|
The revised A45 AMG for 2016 model year on has shifted the model designation to the right side while AMG is on the left side. This trend commenced with Mercedes-Maybach with MAYBACH on the left and S500/S600 on the right.
Mercedes-Benz has developed multi-concept cars with alternative propulsion, such as hybrid-electric, fully electric, and fuel-cell powertrains. At the 2007 Frankfurt motor show, Mercedes-Benz showed seven hybrid models, including the F700 concept car, powered by a hybrid-electric drivetrain featuring the DiesOtto engine. In 2009, Mercedes-Benz displayed three BlueZERO concepts at the North American International Auto Show. Each car features a different powertrain - battery-electric, fuel-cell electric, and gasoline-electric hybrid. In the same year, Mercedes also showed the Vision S500 PHEV concept with a 19 miles (31 km) all-electric range and emissions of 74 grams/km in the New European Driving Cycle.
Since 2002, Mercedes-Benz has developed the F-Cell fuel cell vehicle. The current version, based on the B-Class, has a 250-mile range and is available for lease, with volume production scheduled to begin in 2014. Mercedes has also announced the SLS AMG E-Cell, a fully electric version of the SLS sports car, with deliveries expected in 2013. The Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID was launched in 2009, and is the first production automotive hybrid in the world to use a lithium-ion battery. In mid-2010, production commenced on the Vito E-Cell all-electric van. Mercedes expects 100 vehicles to be produced by the end of 2010 and a further 2000 by the end of 2011.
In 2008, Mercedes-Benz announced that it would have a demonstration fleet of small electric cars in two to three years. Mercedes-Benz and Smart are preparing for the widespread uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK by beginning the installation of recharging points across their dealer networks. So far 20 Elektrobay recharging units, produced in the UK by Brighton-based Elektromotive, have been installed at seven locations as part of a pilot project, and further expansion of the initiative is planned later in 2010.
In the United States, Mercedes-Benz was assessed a record US$30.66 million fine for their decision to not meet the federal corporate average fuel economy standard in 2009. Certain Mercedes-Benz cars, including the S550 and all AMG models sold in the United States, also face an additional gas guzzler tax. However, newer AMG models fitted with the M157 engine will not be subject to the gas-guzzler tax, due to improved fuel economy, and newer models powered by the M276 and M278 engines will have better fuel economy. In 2008, Mercedes also had the worst average of all major European manufacturers, ranking 14th out of 14 manufacturers. Mercedes was also the worst manufacturer in 2007 and 2006 in terms of average levels, with 181 g and 188 g of emitted per km, respectively.
Mercedes-Benz paid an additional US$38 million for failing to meet its CAFE standards for model years 2008-2011.
Mercedes is to open its sixth battery factory in 2018, which makes it a tough competitor to Tesla, Inc. The six factories will be established across 3 continents.
The brand has also planned to launch its electric EQ brand with the EQC SUV being set for production in the year 2019. In September 2018, Mercedes unveiled the EQC, its first fully electric car, at an event in Stockholm.
2022 will be the year in which Daimler has said that the company will have invested $11 billion to ensure that every Mercedes-Benz has a fully electric or hybrid version available on the market.
While releasing details of the project, Markus Schäfer said,
"Our electric vehicles will be built in six plants on three continents. We address every market segment: from the smart fortwo seater, to the large SUV. The battery is the key component of e-mobility. As batteries are the heart of our electric vehicles we put a great emphasis on building them in our own factories. With our global battery network we are in an excellent position: As we are close to our vehicle plants we can ensure the optimal supply of production. In case of a short-term high demand in another part of the world our battery factories are also well prepared for export. The electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars is right on track. Our global production network is ready for e-mobility. We are electrifying the future." After Audi declared that it would cut more than 9,000 jobs by 2025, the owner of Mercedes-Benz announced that the company will shed around 10,000 jobs worldwide to focus on electric cars.
The two companies which were merged to form the Mercedes-Benz brand in 1926 had both already enjoyed success in the new sport of motor racing throughout their separate histories. A single Benz competed in the world's first motor race, the 1894 Paris-Rouen, where Émile Roger finished 14th in 10 hours 1 minute. Throughout its long history, the company has been involved in a range of motorsport activities, including sports car racing and rallying. On several occasions, Mercedes-Benz has withdrawn completely from motorsport for a significant period, notably in the late 1930s, and after the 1955 Le Mans disaster, where a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR rammed another car (An Austin-Healey), took off into the stands, and killed more than 80 spectators. Stirling Moss and co-driver Denis Jenkinson made history by winning the 1955 Mille Miglia road race in Italy during a record-breaking drive with an average speed of almost 98 mph in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.
Although there was some activity in the intervening years, it was not until 1987 that Mercedes-Benz returned to front line competition, returning to Le Mans, Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM), and Formula One with Sauber. The 1990s saw Mercedes-Benz purchase British engine builder Ilmor (now Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines), and campaign IndyCars under the USAC/CART rules, eventually winning the 1994 Indianapolis 500 and 1994 CART IndyCar World Series Championship with Al Unser, Jr. at the wheel. The 1990s also saw the return of Mercedes-Benz to GT racing, and the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, both of which took the company to new heights by dominating the FIA's GT1 class.
Mercedes-Benz took part in the world championship in 1954 and 1955, but despite being successful with two championship titles for Juan-Manuel Fangio, the company left the sport after just two seasons.
Mercedes-Benz returned as an engine supplier in the 1990s and part-owned Team McLaren for some years, to which it has supplied engines engineered by Ilmor since 1995. This partnership brought success, including drivers championships for Mika Häkkinen in 1998 and 1999, and for Lewis Hamilton in 2008, as well as a constructors championship in 1998. The collaboration with McLaren had been extended into the production of road-going cars such as the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
In 2007, McLaren-Mercedes was fined a record US$100 million for stealing confidential Ferrari technical data.
In 2009, Ross Brawn's newly conceived Formula One team, Brawn GP used Mercedes engines to help win the constructor's championship, and Jenson Button to become champion in the F1 drivers' championship. At the end of the season, Mercedes-Benz sold its 40% stake in McLaren to the McLaren Group and bought 70% of the Brawn GP team jointly with an Abu Dhabi-based investment consortium. Brawn GP has renamed Mercedes GP for the 2010 season and is, from this season on, a works team for Mercedes-Benz. As of 2017, the company currently provides engines to Williams Martini Racing and Racing Point F1 Team.
In 2014, Mercedes clinched its first Formula One Constructor's title with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with three races to go, after dominating much of the season. Mercedes repeated its dominance in 2015, winning 16 out of 19 races, and again in 2016, winning 19 of the 21 races. In the next three years, Mercedes continued their success by winning Constructors' Championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019 for a total of six consecutive titles. In these six years, Hamilton won the Formula One Drivers' Championship in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 while Rosberg won in 2016. Mercedes has won both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships for every year from 2014 to 2019. They are the only Formula One team to ever win six consecutive "double-championships".
Prior to pre-season testing of the 2019-20 Formula E Championship, it was announced that Mercedes, through its EQ branch, would join the championship with drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and 2019 FIA Formula 2 season champion Nyck De Vries. The team named their Spark Gen2 challenger the Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow 01.
In June 1909, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) registered both a three-pointed and a four-pointed star as trademarks, but only the three-pointed star was used. To DMG, the star symbolized Gottlieb Daimler's aims for universal motorization: on land, water and in the air.
Numerous technological innovations have been introduced on Mercedes-Benz automobiles throughout the many years of their production, including:
Half a century of vehicle safety innovation helped win Mercedes-Benz the Safety Award at the 2007 What Car? Awards.
In the 1980s, Mercedes built the world's first robot car, together with the team of Professor Ernst Dickmanns at Bundeswehr University Munich. Encouraged in part by Dickmanns' success, in 1987 the European Union's EUREKA programme initiated the Prometheus Project on autonomous vehicles, funded to the tune of nearly EUR800 million. In 1995 Dickmanns' re-engineered autonomous S-Class Mercedes took a long trip from Munich in Bavaria to Copenhagen in Denmark, and back. On highways, the robot achieved speeds exceeding 175 km/h (109 mph) (permissible in some areas of the German Autobahn).
In October 2015, the company introduced the Vision Tokyo, a five-seat self-driving electric van powered by a hybrid hydrogen fuel-cell system. The super-sleek van is touted as "a chill-out zone in the midst of megacity traffic mayhem." 
Several companies have become car tuners (or modifiers) of Mercedes Benz, in order to increase performance and/or luxury to a given model. AMG is Mercedes-Benz's in-house performance-tuning division, specialising in high-performance versions of most Mercedes-Benz cars. AMG engines are all hand-built, and each completed engine receives a tag with the signature of the engineer who built it. AMG has been wholly owned by Mercedes-Benz since 1999. The 2009 SLS AMG, a revival of the 300SL Gullwing, is the first car to be entirely developed by AMG.
In football (soccer), Mercedes-Benz sponsors the Germany national team until 2018. Mercedes-Benz sponsors Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart and provides the naming rights for their stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Arena. The company also holds the naming rights to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, an American football stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. On 24 August 2015, Mercedes-Benz was announced as the naming rights sponsor for the Atlanta Falcons' new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, (Mercedes-Benz's US headquarters are in Greater Atlanta) which opened in August 2017.
Mercedes-Benz worked with English magician Steven Frayne, also known as Dynamo, to create a video called Dynamo vs Coulthard.Formula One driver David Coulthard drove Dynamo around a track at race-speed in a Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, before Dynamo successfully drove around the same track in the same car whilst blindfolded and surrounded by pyrotechnics. The stunt was part of the finale for Series 3 of Dynamo: Magician Impossible, screened on UK television channel Watch.
Established in 1995...Mercedes-Benz Vietnam....supplies both passenger cars and commercial vehicles to the market.