Mercedes-Benz is the automobile brand of Daimler AG. In the United States, Mercedes has always been positioned as a high-luxury brand with a range of pricey offerings, including sedans, coupes, sports cars, crossovers and SUVs. It's one of just a few makers that have been successful selling diesels in this country, and the current Mercedes diesel offerings are among the world's cleanest and quietest.
Mercedes-Benz is the automobile brand of Daimler AG, which is the direct descendant of Daimler Motoren Gessellschaft or DMG. DMG was founded by automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler more than 120 years ago, and it built the first car to wear the Mercedes brand name in 1901. The name was mandated by DMG's number one dealer, Emil Jellinek. Jellinek was a Frenchman who named everything Mercedes, including his daughter, his boat, his house and, most famously, Daimler's automobile.
- Founded : 1926
- Founder : Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler
- Headquarters : Stuttgart, Germany
- Website : http://www.mercedes-benz.com
In 1926, Daimler Motoren Gessellschaft merged with rival manufacturer Benz & Cie. to form Daimler-Benz, and the Mercedes brand was rechristened Mercedes-Benz. With increased resources, the company set industry benchmarks, introducing the first independent suspension in 1931 and cementing a luxury reputation with cars like the elegant 540K. In the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz amazed the world with the fantastic 300SL sports car. The company dominated sports-car racing and Formula 1 in the early 1950s, but a disaster at Le Mans in 1955 brought a halt to Mercedes-Benz racing.
From the 1950s through the 1980s, the Mercedes-Benz brand grew in stature. The brand's workmanship was unquestioned, and it frequently landed atop quality surveys. The 190 series, introduced in 1982, gave Mercedes a car that could compete handily with the smaller BMW sedans, and the 300E, which premiered in 1985, was an engineering and styling coup. Later in the decade, Mercedes returned to the race track and won at Le Mans. As the 1980s ended, all was well in Stuttgart.
Then the Japanese luxury brands Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti landed--just as Mercedes was about to introduce a very large and expensive S-Class. While the new sedan was an excellent car, it was priced well above the competition. Sales suffered, and the brand lost momentum.
Today, Mercedes-Benz is striving to regain its position with a range of automobiles that generally draw excellent reviews. Its showpiece SLR McLaren Roadster is an amazing sports car, with a carbon-fiber body/chassis unit and over 600 horsepower on tap. But while Mercedes automobiles remain styling and engineering triumphs, the brand has lost the quality-leadership position it once owned--perhaps due to efforts to remain cost competitive with its rivals. But the three-pointed star is still coveted, and Mercedes remains one of the world's most prestigious automotive brands.