Mercedes-Benz ( pronounced in German : [mɛʁtseːdəsˌbɛnts] ) is a German manufacturer of automobiles (premium, sport and luxury models), trucks , coaches and independent buses founded in 1926 by three other manufacturers: Daimler -Motoren-Gesellschaft, Mercedes and Benz & C
Benz & Co.
In 1879 , Karl Benz improved the two-stroke engine . He created the Sylvestermotor and sold more than 800 copies in 1883.
In 1886 , Benz & Co. obtain a patent and create the Benz Patent Motorwagen , their very first vehicle 2 .
From 1887 to 1899 , the number of employees increased from 40 to 430.
In 1924 , Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft put its interests in common with ” Benz & Cie.
Creation of Mercedes-Benz
On June 28, 1926 , Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft , Mercedes and Benz & Cie. merge into “Mercedes-Benz AG” 3 .
In 1926 , Mercedes-Benz began production of passenger cars. The models are designated by the prefix W (for Wagen , “Car” in French). A few months after the creation of the brand, Mercedes-Benz creates the W01 with the help of Ferdinand Porsche in 8 copies . They serve as a prototype for creating a passenger car. Types W02 and W03 are then manufactured and marketed. The three models are presented at the Berlin Motor Show in October of the same year.
In 1931 , the models are designated by the prefix L (for lastwagen , “truck” in French). During the war , more than 64,000 utility trucks were produced, almost exclusively for the armed forces .
Under the Third Reich
From 1933 , the Nazi regime uses Mercedes-Benz such as the W136 / 138 , W142 or the famous W07 / W150 often associated with senior officers.
In 1938 , the German government established restrictions. Mercedes-Benz is forced to produce only two- axle trucks of 3 tons , 4.5 tons and 6 tons.
In early 1939 , the German brand created the T80 : a prototype speed. The speed of 634 km / h would have been reached on a straight section of the German motorway. Unique, it would certainly have exceeded 700 km / h . With this vehicle, Hitler wanted to demonstrate German superiority.
During the war, the factories in Untertürkheim were bombed, forcing the company to focus on other products, including bicycles. Auto production resumes in the factories of Sindelfingen, having survived the bombing. At the end of the war, the firm will manufacture a series of trucks called Opel Blitz . From 1941 , under pressure and obligation to Hitler , Mercedes-Benz exploits of Soviet workers and French 4 . This work force will quickly become essential to the functioning of the company, which equips the Luftwaffe and the German war machine. Working conditions are very harsh, strikes take place and protesters are sent to concentration camps. In December 1944 , Mercedes-Benz operates 26,958 forced laborers and 4,887 prisoners of war [ref. necessary] .
According to the German business magazine WirtschafsWoche, Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, admitted in 1986 that he had employed 40,000 forced laborers in appalling conditions during the war, allowing him to generate huge sums of money. money
The post World War II
Some time later, Mercedes-Benz decided to change the design of its passenger cars by incorporating the front optics into the wings. They will also launch Class E, S and SL.
In 1951 , the Type W186 , W187 and W188 make their appearances. Luxury, comfort and elegance are at the rendezvous. The manufacture of medium-heavy trucks is again allowed and soon appear the first trucks with advanced cab. Daimler-Benz acquires the rights of Unimog .
In 1952 , the SL class is created with the W194 racing.
In 1953 , the pontoon body was launched. Five models use this body.
In 1955 , Mercedes-Benz released a new range of trucks called “LP”. This name is used to demonstrate the comfort of trucks that resembled that of Pullman cars. Heavy trucks are built at the Gaggenau factory which also manufactures Unimog, light trucks are produced in Mannheim . The limit of 32 tons with trailer is authorized in 1958 by the German government.
In 1958 , Daimler-Benz AG has several factories in Germany and in twenty-four other countries. Gaggenau remains the largest truck plant and Mercedes-Benz accounts for nearly 75% of German truck exports.
In 1963 , a new advanced cab truck was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show . A factory becomes operational in Wörth .
In 1964 , the firm created the North American branch “Mercedes of North America”.
In 1965 , the German government authorized 38-tonne trucks.
In 1968 , Daimler-Benz took over the distribution and truck plant of Krupp AG in Essen .
In 1970 , Daimler-Benz took over Hanomag – Henschel Fahrzeugwerke, whose factories are located in Kassel , Hanover and Bremen , Germany. The company’s van plant is an important acquisition that fills a void in its truck lineup.
In 1973 , Mercedes launched a new range of trucks: the New Generation range , so named because of the softer style of its tilting cab. From this date, the trucks are mainly advanced cab and hood types gradually eliminated. The first models are two or three-axle construction vehicles, two years later follows the range of heavy trucks. In Argentina and Chile , the firm benefits from the dictatorships of Pinochet and Videla to physically eliminate the union, in addition to the deterioration of working conditions and lower wages 6 .
In 1981 , Daimler-Benz acquired the American company Freightliner LLC Corporation. In 1982 , the firm acquired NAW , the joint venture formed by Saurer and FBW in Arbon and Wetzikon , Switzerland .
In 1990 , Mercedes-Benz acquired IFA from Ludwigsfelde in the former GDR . In 1997 , Daimler-Benz and Freightliner LLC absorbed the Ford heavy truck production plant and the Cargo model, and renamed the new Sterling Trucks division.