|Predecessor||Benz & Cie. (1883-1926)
|Founded||28 June 1926; 90 years ago (1926-06-28)|
|Founder||Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler|
Number of locations
|Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars|
Internal combustion engines
Mercedes-Benz (German pronunciation: [mɛʁˈtseːdəsˌbɛnts]) is a global automobile manufacturer and a division of the German company Daimler AG. The brand is known for luxury vehicles, buses, coaches, and trucks. The headquarters is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg.
The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz, but traces its origins to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's 1901 Mercedes and Karl Benz's 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the first gasoline-powered automobile. The slogan for the brand is "the best or nothing" and Mercedes-Benz was one of the top growing brands in 2014 with 18% growth.
Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, financed by Bertha Benz 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, an Austrian automobile entrepreneur who worked with DMG created the trademark in 1902, naming the 1901 Mercedes 35 hp after his daughter Mercedes Jellinek. 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 1926, Mercedes Benz was formed with the merger of Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler's two companies.
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 laborers were used in Daimler-Benz's factories to bolster Nazi war efforts. The company later paid $12 million in reparations to the laborers' families. Mercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety 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.
As part of the Daimler AG company, the Mercedes-Benz Cars division includes Mercedes-Benz and Smart car production.
Mercedes-AMG became a majority owned division of Mercedes-Benz in 1999. The company was integrated into DaimlerChrysler in 1999, and became Mercedes-Benz AMG beginning on 1 January 1999.
Daimler's ultra-luxury brand Maybach was under Mercedes-Benz cars division until 2013, 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.
Daimler coorporates 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.
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 and the Sprinter van. This is the first Mercedes-Benz factory outside of Germany. Built in 1951.|
|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||New A-series (W176) is manufactured in Uusikaupunki since late 2013, being the first M-B passenger car ever built in that country|
|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|
|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 models manufactured by SsangYong Motor Company.|
|Thailand||Asia||Assembly of C, E and S class vehicles by the Thonburi Group|
|Turkey||Eurasia||Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş.|
|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 and the full-sized GL-Class Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle 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, VA.|
|Vietnam||Asia||Assembly of E-Class, C-Class, S-Class, GLK-Class and Sprinter. Established in 1995.|
|Taiwan||Taiwan||Assembly of Actros by the Shung Ye Group|
Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz had 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 produces a range of vans; Citan (a rebadged version of the Renault Kangoo), Vito and Sprinter.
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 and the Sprinter van.
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.
The Mercedes-Benz 600 or 600S Pullman Guard limousines offer the option of armour-plating and have been used by diplomats worldwide.
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 liters 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, SLS and GT 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 deleted 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||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 CO2 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 CO2 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 CO2 levels, with 181 g and 188 g of CO2 emitted per km, respectively.
Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH introduced three new bicycles in 2005, and the range has developed to include the patent pending Foldingbike in 2007. Other models include the Mercedes-Benz Carbon Bike, Trekking Bike, Fitness Bike and the Trailblazer Bike.
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 is currently active in four motorsport categories, Formula Three, DTM, Formula One and GT3.
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. Fangio is considered by many to be the best F1 driver in history.
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 roadgoing 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 was renamed Mercedes GP for the 2010 season and is, from this season on, a works team for Mercedes-Benz. As of 2016, the company currently provides engines to the Williams F1 Team, Sahara Force India F1 Team and the Manor Racing F1 Team.
In 2014, Mercedes clinched its first F1 Constructor's title with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with 3 races to go, after dominating much of the season. Mercedes repeated its dominance in 2015 in similar fashion, losing only 3 races out of 19 once again. Mercedes yet again dominated in 2016, losing only 2 races out of 21.
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 Adolf 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. Partially encouraged by Dickmanns' success, in 1987 the European Union's EUREKA programme initiated the Prometheus Project on autonomous vehicles, funded to the tune of nearly €800 million. A culmination point was achieved in 1995, when 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.
There are numerous independent tuners including Brabus, Carlsson, Kleemann and Renntech.
In football, Mercedes-Benz sponsors Germany National Football Team. 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 in New Orleans, Louisiana. On 24 August 2015, Mercedes-Benz was announced as the naming rights sponsor for the Atlanta Falcons' new home Mercedes-Benz Stadium, (Mercedes-Benz moved their US headquarters to the Atlanta area) scheduled to open in 2017.
Established in 1995...Mercedes-Benz Vietnam....supplies both passenger cars and commercial vehicles to the market.
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