According to Motoring Research, the Mercedes Benz is the 10th top-selling car brand in the world. In just 2018 alone, there were approximately 2,551,806 registrations of vehicles under the global brand. With this in mind, there is no surprise that the much-loved manufacturer has an extensive history, which allows them to continue to innovate each year. Producing models that are bigger, better and more advanced than anything we have experienced in the past. Take a browse through our guide to the history of the Mercedes Benz to find out more!
An Insight Into The History Of The Mercedes Benz
As a key part of the Daimler AG company, Mercedes Benz is known for producing some of the most recognised luxury cars across the globe. From modern cars and SUVs to coaches and buses, you would find it incredibly tricky to track down something that the brand cannot successfully tackle. However, similarly to any other worldwide brand, it hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Mercedes Benz.
The Birth Of The Mercedes Benz
The birth is the Mercedes Benz dates back as far as the early 1880s, beginning its journey with independent projects of two engineers, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz. While Daimler and Benz were yet to meet, they had no idea that their inventions would go down in history.
Karl Benz, an engineering enthusiast, had experienced years of struggling with not only unreliable business partners but also unrealistic bank regulations. Due to this, he opted for founding his own business, Benz & Co Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, in 1883. More commonly known as Benz & Cie, the automobile manufacturer became one of the first to be established in Germany. After instant success, in 1886, Benz built the first petrol-powered vehicle using a combination of bicycle technology and a four-stroke engine. An interesting fact that many are unaware of is that Karl Benz is, in fact, the first person to gain a driving licence!
While Benz was designing his inventions, so was Gottlieb Daimler with the help of his business partner, Wilhelm Maybach. In 1885, the pair invented a combustion engine, which later became one of the original gasoline engines. In just one year, they were able to successfully fit their engine to not only a motorcycle but also a boat and stagecoach (a large, horse-drawn vehicle). Having achieved success quicker than anticipated, Daimler and Maybach founded their first business, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) in 1890.
In 1914, World War I hit, which put all companies around the world under immense strain. Although both Benz & Cie and DMG continued to operate throughout and after the war, they were heavily impacted by the German economic crisis. In 1924, after a few years of attempting to continue operations despite the economic issues, along with the rise of larger automotive companies, the pair made an agreement to merge. By 1926, Benz & Cie and DMG had combined to create the birth of Mercedes Benz.
Photo Credit: Mercedes Benz Public Archives.
The Early Alphanumeric System
While nowadays, there are hundreds of categories of Mercedes Benz, this system is relatively new. Until 1994, all vehicles were classified based on an alphanumeric system. The first part of the classification was a number taken from a numeric sequence. It was worked out by multiplying the litres of the engine by 100. Next, came a letter, which related to the engine and body type. Below is each letter used and what they mean:
- C – Any vehicle that falls under the coupe or cabriolet category.
- D – Cars that are powered by diesel.
- E – Vehicles powered by petrol. In later years, this also related to electric cars, along with plug-in hybrids.
- G – These would be SUV’s, originally called Geländewagen off-roader, hence the letter ‘G’.
- K – All supercharger vehicles would fall under this category; this was only used during the 1930s.
- L – Relates to lightweight vehicles such as sports models.
- R – All racing cars would fall under this specification.
- S – The letter ‘S’ had two meanings; either for a “special class” or flagship model.
- T – Nowadays, vehicles that we know as estate cars. These used to be called “touring” models.
Taking On The Motorsport Industry
Since establishment in the early 1900s, Mercedes Benz has been known for immersing themselves in the world of motorsports, so it would only be fair to include a snippet into their racing history.
While Karl Benz had previous experience in motorsport, taking part in the 1923 Grand Prix, the brands first official event was during the 1930s. Mercedes Benz manufactured the Auto Union, a rival to the Silver Arrows, which set a record speed of 270 mph.
No motorsport history is complete without Formula One. As their return to racing in 1954 after the second World War, Mercedes Benz achieved both first and second place in Formula One racing. In the following season, Benz drivers won six out of nine rounds – another monumentous victory. To this day, Mercedes Benz remains to play a pivotal role in Formula One as the supplier of all safety cars used during seasons.
A full guide to the history of Mercedes Benz racing can be found on the South Bay Autohaus website.
Photo Credit: Daimler.
The Modern-Day Mercedes Benz
We are all no stranger to the continuous growth of the Mercedes Benz. In more recent years, the brand has won numerous globally recognised awards for its constant innovation, including the following:
- World Car Awards– Won three awards in 2015 for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Mercedes-AMG GT and the S-Class Coupé.
- Cars.com – Won the 2016 ‘Luxury Car Of The Year’ award for the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.
- The New York Daily News – Named the best luxury car of 2017 for the S-Class.
- UK Car Of The Year – The Mercedes-Benz E-Class won the top spot in 2017.
- U.S. News & World Report – Won 2 award in 2017 for the best Luxury Large SUV and Super Luxury Car.
Mercedes Benz is most definitely worthy of their prestigious awards with every vehicle oozing complete luxury. They even designed and manufactured a custom-made model for an Abu Dhabi billionaire, which featured an exterior made with £2 million worth of white gold.
The motto for the company is “Das Beste oder Nichts”, which translates to “The Best or Nothing” and is encompassed in every new model. Each features a combination of advanced technology and exceptional craftsmanship, ensuring that every vehicle designed is truly a dream to drive. We love the in-depth description of the modern-day Mercedes Benz components featured on Daimler.
A Leader In The Industry
Mercedes Benz remains one of the biggest names in the world of luxury vehicles, even nearly 100 years since establishment. The brand most definitely comes alongside an interesting history, which gives just an insight into the hurdles overcome to build the brand we all know and love today.
If you are a car lover and feel inspired by our article, why not get behind the wheel of some of the most prestigious Mercedes Benz models? With our supercar hire London, or luxury car hire Mayfair, you will be given the opportunity to drive anything from the famous G63 AMG to the AMG GTS!