The Mercedes Benz AG brand has been around for more than 130 years. It is one of the most popular names in the luxury vehicles industry, and many people have a lot of respect for it. The brand has focused on innovation a lot – this is how they were able to create outstanding vehicles and improve the lives of their customers.
But how did it all start for Mercedes Benz? Who were the founders and how did the Mercedes Benz cars become so popular? Read this post and discover the history of the Mercedes brand.
It all started in 1834. That’s when Gottlieb Daimler was born on March 17, in Schorndorf, Germany. He trained as a gunsmith and later, he went to the Stuttgart Polytechnic School. He went to France and England after school, and he worked hard to complete several technical activities.
Later, he went back to Germany and worked as a draftsman. He managed to become a workshop inspector in 1863 in a Reutlingen machine factory.
Gottlieb Daimler worked at Deutz Gasmotorenfabik as a technical director, and during this time, he learned about the four-stroke technology. As a result, he decided to open his own development workshop. His plan was to work on a petrol-powered four-stroke engine.
The Development of the Grandfather Clock
He met Wilhelm Maybach while working for the machine factory in Reutlingen and they worked together to develop an internal combustion engine. Nowadays, this engine is known as the “Grandfather Clock”.
The Ups and Downs of the Company
In November of 1890, Gottlieb established Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft together with Wilhelm Lorenz and Max Duttenhofer in order to develop the engines. Gottlieb was more interested in vehicle production, though, while the new partners were interested in stationary engines, so there was a conflict. Maybach then resigned in 1891, but he and Gottlieb were still friends and kept working on producing vehicles.
Due to all the problems within DMG, Gottlieb was excluded and was no longer a shareholder, although both he and Maybach went back in 1895. Afterwards, the company’s Phoenix engine gained worldwide popularity. He also got a Technical Board position and was a Supervisory Board Inspector General.
The Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft company also built the first truck in the world for the British Motor Syndicate.
Karl Benz and Bertha Benz
10 years after Daimler’s birth, in 1844, Karl Benz was born, and he would be the one creating the first internal combustion engine, which could be found in the Benz Patent motor car. He was born in Karlsruhe, Germany on November 25. He wasn’t part of the wealthiest family, and his father passed away only two years after he was born.
Even though they were not rich, Benz’s mother still helped him go to grammar school. Later on, she supported him in going to mechanical engineering studies.
He loved motor cars, and he was always thinking of them even though he worked as a locksmith, designer, and workshop foreman.
Benz’s First Company
Together with August Ritter, his mechanic, he established his first company in 1871, but Ritter decided to leave not long after. The workshop was only run by Karl Benz alone, and he was working hard on the gas-driven two-stroke engine. This would help him create an engine that would let a vehicle run without requiring horses. The first time the engine ran was on New Year’s Eve 1879.
In October 1882, Benz established Gasmotorenfabrik Mannheim or the Mannheim Gas Engine Factory. But because the other shareholders wanted to focus more on the stationary gas engines and not motor car engines, Benz left the company.
Benz’s Third Company and the Two-Stroke System Benz Engine
Karl Benz then founded the Benz & Cie. Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik Mannheim with Friedrich Wilhelm Esslinger and Max Rose in 1883. The two-stroke System Benz engine was launched while he worked with this company.
The brand grew significantly, actually turning into the largest German engine manufacturer. Not only that, but at the end of the century, it became the leading automobile producer in the world. The Velocipede’s production led to the company’s economic breakthrough with automobiles. It was made between 1894 and 1901, and it is thought to have been the first automobile that was mass-produced. Almost 1,200 pieces were created.
Benz’s Last Company and His Wife’s Involvement
Benz opened the new company Carl Benz Söhne company in 1906, and it was his last company. After 6 years, he gave his sons management control. He passed away in 1929, but until then, he worked for his last company and was even a Daimler Benz board member.
Bertha Benz, Karl’s wife, was also a big reason we got Mercedes cars today. She married him in 1872 and decided to invest her dowry and inheritance into the automobile businesses of her husband while giving him emotional support. She was also the first individual to drive an automobile fueled by petrol.
Emil Jellinek was a salesman and he was also a big part of the Mercedes Benz story. He was always interested in vehicles – therefore, he was involved in the automobile industry.
He started dealing with cars seriously in 1898, especially Daimler car models. He started asking DMG for faster and more powerful cars, which could be used in races.
How the Name Mercedez Benz Came Into Being
Mercedes, which was his daughter’s name, became a product name in April 1900. Wilhelm Maybach was the one who developed the first Daimler Mercedes vehicle, and it is considered the first modern automobile.
Emil used these models in the 1901 Nice Week, making other drivers interested in these motor cars. Mercedes became a registered and legally protected brand name in 1902. This is why we have the name Mercedes Benz today.
Daimler Benz AG and the Evolution of Mercedes Benz Vehicles
Mercedes and Daimler were competitors until the 1920s. But the first World War impacted the automotive industry a lot – therefore, Benz & Cie and DMG decided to merge. They created Mercedes Benz Automobil GmbH, and the combined business model was then able to coordinate production techniques, designs, sales, advertising, and purchasing, working to take over the market.
Becoming One Motor Company
In 1926, they became one company officially, forming the Daimler Benz AG company. In October of the same year, Mercedes Benz brand models were already being presented at the Berlin Motor Show.
The 770 Model
Mercedes Benz became more and more popular over the years due to their car models. The 770 model is one of the most popular vehicles in the history of Mercedes, as it was used during the Nazi period of Germany. Even Adolf Hitler has driven some of these cars while he was in power, and the windshields were bulletproof. One such model can be seen at the Ottawa War Museum.
In 1999, Mercedes AMG became a Mercedez Benz majority-owned division. It was integrated into DaimlerChrysler in that same year but then became Mercedes Benz AMG.
Other Popular Mercedes Benz Models
Carl Benz, Wilhelm Maybach, Gottlieb Daimler, and Emil Jellinek led to the creation of even more popular Mercedes Benz cars, though. Some other popular models were the Benz Motor Velocipede, S Class, Silver Arrows, Mercedes Benz 260 D, Mercedes Benz SL, 600 Pullman, E Class, C Class, EQC, and others. The W136 was also the first diesel engine passenger car they produced in 1936.
The Company’s Influence on Today’s Vehicles
When talking about the history of the brand, most people like to mention the first Daimler car, the story of Carl Benz, or the overall early engine development. Still, many forget to mention the influence of the early models on the commercial vehicles we drive today.
Carl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Emil Jellinek, and Wilhelm Maybach all contributed to the way cars look today. Without them, passenger cars may have not been the same.
Nowadays, we have a motor vehicle company that is not only popular all over the world but is also known as a high-quality car company. Mercedes Benz now has factories and dealerships all over the planet.
Mercedes Benz remains one of the oldest vehicle manufacturers in the world, being the first one to create the petrol engine. Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft marketed the first Mercedes automobile, and the first vehicles under the name Mercedes Benz were produced in 1926.
With a rich history, knowledgeable and skilled individuals working on stationary and vehicle engines in the early days, and dedication to the automobile field, the business gained international popularity. Some of its now-legendary vehicles can be seen in museums.