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The Mercedes-Benz brand was created in 1926 through the merger of Daimler motors association with Benz & Cie. To form Daimler-Benz AG. But this merger was preceded by decisive stages in the history of the automobile and technical innovations, which occurred above all in the early days of the German and Austrian period of Gründerzeit and were all about the inventors Gottlieb Dailmer, Carl Benz and Wilhelm Maybach.
The mechanical engineers Maybach and Daimler first met each other in 1865 in a machine factory in Reutlingen and started to develop engines together. Amongst their other experiments were the single-cylinder engine in standing design - the so-called “grandfather-“ or “floor clock", which is the first modern engine ever to be traded. One year later, the Daimler riding car (“Reitwagen”), the first motorcycle in the world was designed based on the model of a bicycle. Daimler finally founded the Daimler-Motorengesellschaft (DMG, Daimler Motors Corporation) together with Max Duttenhofer and Wilhelm Lorenz. Due to different ideas and interests in the company management, Daimler and Maybach soon left the company for several years. They returned in 1895, marking a phase of economic progress for the company. Not least, Maybach had developed and financed the belt drive in the meantime, the phoenix engine and the injection nozzle carburettor - inventions, which were about to write history, and which were to be used for decades in the automotive industry.
The beginning of Carl Benz was characterized by a number of adversities, including the Benz patent motor car number 1 from 1886, which was often called the first automobile. He kept working independently as a “freelancer” until the foundation of Benz & Cie. in 1883. With the new partners Ganß and Fischer the breakthrough was achieved. Benz was the second-largest engine factory in Germany and will become the world's leading automotive manufacturer by the turn of the century. In the first years after the founding, between 1894 and 1901, the first large series of the patent motor car can be counted as the first huge success. The so-called "Velo" was produced in approximately 1200 pieces.
The history of Mercedes is closely linked to the history of motor racing, from its emergence and naming. The Austrian businessman and dealer of Daimler vehicles Emil Jellinek took part in the race week in Nice, participating under the name of his daughter Mercedes, after which the name Mercedes spread in the fairway of Daimler.
The sales would begin. The first Mercedes was handed over to Jellinek. A little later, 36 more cars were sold to businessmen at a price of 153,000 marks each. Daimler's automobiles have always been in the luxury and upper class, and during the century, Mercedes has been able to keep this position alone for a long time.
After the vehicles became more and more popular because of the successful participation in the race week, the name Mercedes got legally protected for the DMG in 1902, and several years later also the Mercedes star, which is indissociably connected to the brand. The star, now one of the best known and most symbolic trademarks worldwide, was finally redesigned as a logo with the merger with Daimler-Benz AG. The unmistakable, unique and typical radiator figure is intended to symbolize three elements: motorisation on land, on water and in the air.
In the 1930s, the brand's commitment to motor racing activities helped gain further fame. Since the participation of the German Grand Prix racing car named Silver Arrows (“Silberpfeilen”) during the legendary competitions from 1934 to 1939 of Auto Union, everyone was talking about Mercedes, especially after one race at the Berlin AVUS in 1932, where Manfred von Brauchitsch had a victory in the unpainted Mercedes, which a radio commentator then called the "Silver Arrow".
After the Second World War, production continued in 1947. The good, established relations with the USA could be directly connected with old successes. The US had gradually become the most important international market for the company since the 1960s. In the luxury car segment, Audi and BMW in Europe and Lexus in the USA developed for the first time in the 1980s corresponding models, which opened a competition for Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler were always able to maintain their shares on the world market - and achieved the best results in 2015.
There are different segments for the Mercedes Benz Cars. The portfolio also includes rescue and police vehicles, vans and trucks, all of which are strongly represented in the streets. The most classic Mercedes today is probably the E-Class, the taxi model, which has been very common on Germany’s roads since 1984.
The company’s mini called Smart goes back to an idea from the founder of the Swatch group Nicolas G. Hayek, who, before the first Smart Fortwo rolled off the production line, backed out from the cooperation. In the meantime, there are eight different models, which also partly exceed the size of the small car. For the practical, "traditional" Smart, which is made for the city, China is a particularly important sales market.
Starting from A as in A-Class with the smallest model and T like tourism and transport, the allocation of the cars is based on the size of the vehicle.
Ten years ago, in 1997, the first Mercedes with front-wheel drive was introduced. The A-Class experienced an unexpected and bigger public by the elk test when the announcement was made, as the car tipped to the side during the test ride in an evasive manoeuvre. What started as scandalous, led to a series of improvements such as the introduction of harder springs and innovations such as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which were introduced as standard in all other costlier models, and since then, the competition between the car manufacturers generates greater safety when driving. The most produced and sought-after vehicles should be the C-Class, the E-Class and the S-Class - classic models with the engine at the front and the drive at the rear. In addition, Mercedes is continually expanding their segment in the area of the transverse engines and developed, for example, the CLA Coupé and CLA Shooting as well as the successor to the GLA, which was also produced as a sport utility vehicle (SUV).
The company, which began its activities through motorsport and racing, still dominates auto sports. Even before the First World War, the first victories were won, such as the Grand Prix of France in 1914 and the following year, the Indianapolis 500. Even at that time, decisive speed records were set up, such as the 228.1 km per hour with the lightning-Benz (“Blitzen-Benz”) from the company C.Benz and sons in 1909.
After the jubilant start of the silver arrows model in the 1930s, Mercedes entered the motorsport again only in the 1950s and was able to follow the previous successes. In the first year of their participation in 1952 Hermann Lang and Fritz Rieß won a double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mercedes was also able to win in the 50s in the Formula One - one of the most important is the double victory at the Grand Prix of France in 1954.
But after an accident in Le Mans in 1955, which is considered one of the most serious disaster in motor racing, when 86 people were killed as a result of a collision of Pierre Levegh's car with the Lance Macklin car in the Austin Healey, Mercedes ended its team activities in motor sport completely.
After some failed initiatives in the 1980s to re-enter the rallying sport, the company managed in 1983 with the model Mercedes 190 to participate in an endurance run. The vehicle was traveling a total of 201 hours, 39 minutes and 43 seconds over 50,000 km with an average speed of 247 km/h, breaking three FIA world records. Subsequently the 190E 2.3-16 was produced as standard. This probably helped at the end of the 80s to take part in sports car races again. In 1989 and 1990, Mercedes won the world championship title in the Sauber C9 and Mercedes Benz C11 with Jean-Louis Schlesser as well as in the 1990s numerous DTM (German Touring Car Masters) titles under Sportchefs Norbert Haug.
After 40 years, Mercedes under his management continued the re-entry into the Formula One in 1993 and 1994, together with the team Sauber-Mercedes. After the accident of Karl Wendlinger during exercises for the Grand Prix of Monaco, the companies separated again. Later Mercedes supported the British McLaren team until 2010, with such greats as Mika Häkkinen and Heikki Kovalainen. Mercedes won the Formula One World Championship title with the McLaren team in 1998 and 1999, and hired Lewis Hamilton, who also won the World Championship in 2008. Since 2010, Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher have been drivers of the brand’s own, newly founded Formula One team called the Mercedes Grand Prix.