Mercedes-Benz ( German pronunciation: (mɛʁˈtse dəs bɛnts) is a multinational division of the German manufacturer Daimler AG, and the brand is used for luxury automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz but traces its origins toDaimler’s 1901 Mercedes and to Karl Benz’s 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, widely regarded as the first automobile.
Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz’s creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, 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. 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. 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, and is also the world’s oldest automotive brand still in existence today.
Numerous technological innovations have been introduced on Mercedes-Benz automobiles throughout the many years of their production, including:
The internal combustion engined automobile was developed independently by Benz and Daimler & Maybach in 1886
Daimler invented the honeycomb radiator of the type still used on all water-cooled vehicles today
Daimler invented the float carburetor which was used until replaced by fuel injection
The “drop chassis”—the car originally designated the “Mercedes” by Daimler was also the first car with a modern configuration, having the carriage lowered and set between the front and rear wheels, with a front engine and powered rear wheels. All earlier cars were “horseless carriages”, which had high centres of gravity and various engine/drive-train configurations
The first passenger road car to have brakes on all four wheels (1924)
The “safety cage” or “safety cell” construction with front and rear crumple zones was first developed by Mercedes-Benz in 1951. This is considered by many as the most important innovation in automobile construction from a safety standpoint
In 1959, Mercedes-Benz patented a device that prevents drive wheels from spinning by intervening at the engine, transmission, or brakes. In 1987, Mercedes-Benz applied its patent by introducing a traction control system that worked under both braking and acceleration
Traction control and airbags in the European market, were Mercedes-Benz innovations. These technologies were introduced in 1986, and 1980 respectively
Mercedes-Benz was the first to introduce pre-tensioners to seat belts on the 1981 S-Class. In the event of a crash, a pre-tensioner will tighten the belt instantaneously, removing any ‘slack’ in the belt, which prevents the occupant from jerking forward in a crash
In September 2003, Mercedes-Benz introduced the world’s first seven-speed automatic transmission called ‘7G-Tronic’
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), brake assist, and many other types of safety equipment were all developed, tested, and implemented into passenger cars—first—by Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz has not made a large fuss about its innovations, and has even licensed them for use by competitors—in the name of improving automobile and passenger safety. As a result, crumple zones and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are now standard on all modern vehicles.