Mercedes-Benz (German pronunciation & Rus. Mercédes-Benz, but the last syllable is common  ) is a trademark and eponymous manufacturer of premium cars class, trucks, buses and other vehicles, which is part of the German concern Daimler AG . It is one of the most recognizable automotive brands in the world  .Headquartered in Stuttgart , Baden-Württemberg , Germany.
The brand name was adopted in 1926  as a result of the merger of two competing firms, Benz & Cie. (founded by Karl Benz ) and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (founded by Gottlieb Daimler ), into a single concern – Daimler-Benz . The brand name is derived from the two most significant cars of the combined companies – the Mercedes of 1901 and the Benz Patent-Motorwagen of 1886.
In 2018 the brand Mercedes-Benz was estimated at 48.601 billion dollars , holding the second place (after the Toyota ) among manufacturers of automobiles and eighth place among all brands in the world  . According to BrandZ , in 2018 the brand was included in the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list , where it ranked 46th among the most expensive brands with a value of $ 25.684 million .
The history of the Mercedes-Benz brand is composed of the stories of two well-known German automobile companies – Benz & Cie. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (founded by Gottlieb Daimler in 1890). Both companies developed independently until 1926, when they merged into a single Daimler-Benz concern , subsequently renamed Daimler AG.
On October 1, 1883, Karl Benz founded the company Benz and Co. Rainis Gazmotoren-Fabrik, Mannheim ”( Benz & Cie. ) In the form of an open trading company together with businessman Max Caspar Rosa and businessman Friedrich Wilhelm Esslinger. In 1886, the company created the first three-wheeled self-propelled wagon with a gasoline engine. In the same year, on January 29, its creator – Karl Benz – received the patent DRP No. 37,435 for this invention  ).
Subsequently, the three-wheeled car was put into mass production.
In 1893, Karl Benz received the patent DRP No. 73515 for the dual control rod and initiated the production of four-wheel Victoria cars with a 3-liter engine. from.  , whose speed was 17-20 km / h. In the first year, 45 such cars were sold. In 1894, the company began producing cars of the Velo model , which participated in the first Paris – Rouen automobile races . In 1895, the first truck was created, as well as the first buses in history .
A year later, in 1896, the company Benz & Cie. developed the first cylinder for engines, which Benz called the “contra engine”, because the cylinders were installed opposite each other .
In 1901, shortly after Daimler launched the new “ Mercedes 35 PS ” model , it became clear how far the company was behind progress. In order to improve the situation, shareholders invite the French engineer Marius Barbara to the company  . Due to technical differences, Karl Benz left his own company. It soon became clear that the French designer did not live up to his expectations. Following the logic that German cars should be made Germans, Fritz Erlé was invited to the company as chief engineer. This idea was also unsuccessful. Only with the advent of the talented engineer Hans Niebel into the company, things gradually began to go uphill. In 1909, having created a number of successful passenger cars, the company built the most famous racing car of the time “Blitzen Benz ”with an engine with a capacity of 200 horsepower and a displacement of 21 594 cm 3  .
In the postwar years, many new models were created, most of which were successfully produced until the mid-twenties. In total, from the start of production in 1886 until the merger with Daimler-Motor-Gesellschaft in 1926, Benz & Co. produced 47,555 vehicles, including cars, trucks and omnibuses.
In December 1883, Gottlieb Daimler defended his own “hot-tube ignition gas engine” with DRP No. 28022. He also received the patent DRP No. 28243 to the system of “engine speed control using the exhaust valve.” These two patents formed the basis for the first high-speed internal combustion engine. On August 29, 1885, Gottlieb registered Daimler Reitwagen(“Horse carriage”) with a “gas or gas engine”, having received the patent DRP No. 36423. In 1889, he introduced a new two-cylinder V-engine, developing a capacity of 1.5 liters. from. at 600 rpm A year later, in the spring of 1890, Wilhelm Maybach designed the first 4-cylinder, four-stroke engine. A car equipped with this power unit had a weight of 153 kg and developed a capacity of 5 liters. from. at 620 rpm.
On November 28, 1890, Gottlieb Daimler, together with his partners, Wilhelm Maybach and Max Duttenhofer ( German Max Duttenhofer), founded the company Daimler-Motor-Gesellschaft in the Bad Kanshtat district ( Stuttgart ), deciding to produce a four-wheeled four-year car previously   . On March 18, 1895, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft delivered the world’s first 4-liter twin-cylinder truck to Kronstadt . from. Two years later, in the summer, DMG introduced the Phönix, the first type of car with engines in the front.
After a series of not very successful attempts, which nevertheless found their enthusiastic buyers, designer V. Maybach in 1901 managed to create a successful model – Mercedes 35 PS . At the insistence of the consul of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Nice and part-time head of the representative office of Daimler in France Emil Jellinek, the new car is named after the Virgin Mary the Merciful ( fr. Maria de las Mercedes, from the Latin “merces” – “gifts”), in honor of which also named all his children, including the notorious daughter of the consul Mercedes , and property (yachts, houses, a hotel and a casino).
The first Mercedes-35PS had a four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 5913 cm 3  , a classic arrangement of the main units and a stylish (at that time) appearance. A year later, the light saw a more advanced design called the Mercedes Simplex  . In addition, the lineup has expanded. The most famous representatives of this series were referred to as “Mercedes-40 / 45PS” and “Mercedes-65PS”, and were equipped with engines with a working volume of 6785 cm 3 and 9235 cm 3, respectively, which allowed to reach speeds of up to 90 km / h.
Before World War I , the Daimler-Motor-Gesellschaft company managed to produce a wide range of its own cars with various engines (from 1568 cm 3 to 9575 cm 3 ), designed for a wide range of consumers, including luxurious, almost silent cars equipped with valveless engines gas distribution produced by the patent of the American company “Knight”.
Immediately after the war, Paul Daimler , the son of Gottlieb Daimler, began to conduct experiments with a compressor, which allows one and a half times to increase engine power. Ferdinand Porsche, who took the position of chief engineer in 1923, brought the experiments to their logical conclusion by creating in 1924 one of the most outstanding cars in the world – the Mercedes-24/100 / 140PS with a new chassis and a six-cylinder compressor engine with a working volume of 6240 cm 3 , developing power in 100-140 horsepower.
By 1926, the Daimler-Motor-Gesellschaft company had produced a total of 147,961 automobiles at all of its plants, with maximum performance achieved in 1918.
The First World War, the collapse of the exchange rate, as well as the penetration of foreign manufacturers such as the Ford Motor Company into the German domestic market . On June 28, 1926, two competing companies decided to merge, forming the new Daimler-Benz concern , which was able to effectively use the experience and knowledge of the designers of both companies. Ferdinand Porsche was appointed head of the new venture . He completely updated the production program, taking as a basis the latest Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft models , now produced under the Mercedes-Benz brand . The first new development of Porsche in 1926 was the compressora series that included the Mercedes 24/100/140 PS model with a six-cylinder engine with a working volume of 6240 cm 3 . For its great power and speed (up to 145 km / h) it was called the “death trap”. It became the basis for the more famous S series , which consisted of models S ( Sport ), SS ( Supersport ), SSK ( Supersport Kurz – “supersport short”) and SSKL ( Supersport Kurz leicht – “supersport short light”)  [20 ] ] .
In 1928, Porsche left Daimler-Benz, and his place was taken by Hans Nibel ( German: Hans Nibel )  . Under his leadership, Mannheim 370 cars with a six-cylinder engine with a working volume of 3.7 liters were produced. and the Nürburg 500 with an eight-cylinder 4.9-liter unit, based on the latest Porsche designs.
In 1930, appeared “Big Mercedes” ( German Großer Mercedes) or Mercedes-Benz 770 (W07) with an eight-cylinder 200-horsepower engine, a working volume of 7655 cm 3 with a supercharger. In 1931, the company made its debut in the small car sector, where it was represented by the highly successful Mercedes 170 with a six-cylinder engine, a displacement of 1692 cm 3 and an independent front wheel suspension .
In 1933, a passenger Mercedes-Benz 200 and a sporty Mercedes-Benz 380 with 2.0- and 3.8-liter engines appeared. The last of them was equipped with a supercharger and had a capacity of 140 horsepower. Based on the sports model, in 1934 they created the Mercedes-Benz 500K with a 5-liter engine, which became two years later the basis for the more famous large compressor car Mercedes-Benz 540K. In 1934-1936, the company launched the lightweight Mercedes-Benz 130 with a four-cylinder 26-horsepower rear -engined engine with a displacement of just 1308 cm 3 , followed by the 150 roadster and the 170H sedan .
Under the technical guidance of the chief designer Max Zeiler , who replaced Niebel in 1935, the popular inexpensive model 170V with a four-cylinder engine with a working volume of 1697 cm 3 was created , the world’s first production car    with a diesel engine Mercedes-Benz 260 D (1936), as well as a new “Big» the Mercedes-Benz 770 (W150) (1938) with a frame of beams of oval cross section, and the rear spring suspension, which served as the Nazi leaders.
The Second World War
During World War II , the Daimler-Benz concern produced both trucks and cars of various classes. However, a two-week aerial bombardment by the Anglo-American Air Force in September 1944 turned the Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft into ruins. The destruction of a major concern was evaluated differently: the main workshop in Stuttgart was destroyed by 70%, the engine and body shops in Sindelfingen – 85%, the truck workshop in Gaggenau was completely destroyed. Former factory of Benz & Cie.Mannheim was the luckiest of all – only 20% of the destruction, and the Berlin-Marienfelde diesel engine plant, acquired in 1902, was completely razed to the ground.
When the destruction assessments were ready by January 1945, the board of directors decided that “Daimler-Benz no longer physically exists”.
The post-war reconstruction of the destroyed factories took time, so automobile production was only begun in June 1946. For the development of new cars there was no technical base, no funds, so the first post-war car was the W136 sedan – “170V”. Although the design was developed back in the mid-1930s, a small car with a motor of only 38 horsepower was the beginning of a new history of the brand. Already in May 1949, a major modernization was carried out. Engine capacity increased by 70 cm 3 (accordingly, the power increased to 52 hp; model “170S”), there were options in convertible and station wagon bodies (the so-called convertibles “A” and “B”) and most importantly – models with diesel engines “170D”.
By the beginning of the 1950s, the Daimler-Benz concern made major plans for the future, but the launch of a new generation of cars required further development of the production base. Therefore, in the early 1950s, despite the emergence of the new luxurious 300 series, the production of models with an obsolete design continued. Continuous modernization and launch of new models continued. So in January 1952, a model with an enlarged body appeared, which received the number W191 . But even before that, in March 1951, a six-cylinder engine with a capacity of 80 liters was put on the car. from. instead of a 4 cylinder. Together with the new exterior design (for example, the location of the front lights in the wings), the W187 received the new name “220” and occupied the middle segment between “170” and “300”. It was offered in three bodies (sedan and convertibles “A” and “B”).
In just nine years (the release was completed in September 1955), 151,042 and 18,514 “170” and “220” cars were built, respectively. Thanks to them, the company was able to create a solid foundation on which it will become the leading automotive manufacturer in Western Europe.
After the successful restoration of factories and the production of its small cars, by the end of the 1940s, the company again began to restore its pre-war brand as a manufacturer of luxury cars. Given the modern breakthroughs in the automotive industry, in November 1951 at the Paris Motor Show a new executive limousine W186 “ 300 ” appeared  . The car, although it was built in a classic layout (separate frame and body), however, was equipped with a powerful 6-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2996 cm 3 with an overhead camshaft.
The new model was produced in two bodies – a sedan and a four-door convertible “D” and was a huge success among major businessmen, celebrities and politicians. It was the latter category that gave the car an unofficial name in honor of the first Federal Chancellor of Germany , Konrad Adenauer , who had a personal car and praised him highly. Since the assembly of the car was carried out manually, the interiors were made for buyers and were equipped with a radio, telephone and many other innovations.
Manual assembly of cars allowed for continuous upgrades, so at the end of 1954 the W186 300b series appeared, which received new brake drums and front vents. A year later, it was replaced by the 300s, equipped with a Borg-Warner automatic transmission. But the biggest step forward was made in the mid-1950s, when Bosch made the invention of a fuel injection system. Since 1955, the W188 300Sc series has been equipped with it.
In January 1952, there was another series of the executive class W188 – “300S”, which was produced in several body modifications: coupe, convertible “A” and a two-seater roadster. The engine compression ratio was increased to 7.8: 1, and the power was 150 liters. from. If the assembly of large “adenauers” was relatively quick (about a thousand a year, given the combined capabilities of the brand’s factories), the average production of 300S cars was no more than a hundred pieces a year.
However, while the demand for large “adenauers” continued, the production of small-scale “300S” became impractical after the advent of SL roadsters and similar two-door pontoon models in the mid-1950s (see below). Further assembly of obsolete cars turned out to be a big burden for the company, so in 1958 the release of all three W188 bodies was discontinued after the release of only 760 cars  .
As for the flagship sedans and convertibles “D”, then in August 1957 a thorough modernization of the car was carried out, which became known as W189 – “300D”. The main external difference was in the rear of the body, which took the form of a pontoon sedan. The rear part of the roof with an enlarged tail glass has similarly changed its shape. The side glazing also got a very convenient summer time opportunity to remove the central pillar. To successfully penetrate the US market , cars were equipped with air conditioning and power steering, and tires were painted white. The engine of the new “Adenauer” was equipped with a fuel injection system, so that its power was 180 liters. sec., and the maximum speed of a heavy car reached 165 km / h.
The assembly of “adenauers” continued until March 1962. In total, during the production, 8288 vehicles of the W186 series and 3142 of the W189 series were assembled. Thanks to this model range, the Mercedes-Benz brand has completely restored its pre-war reputation as a manufacturer of luxury cars.
In the early 1950s, the company finally had the resources and personnel that could implement the changes that were planned. As already noted, the “170” and “200” models were completely outdated by the beginning of the 1950s, and only the elite of that time could afford the “300”. The brand needed a unified series of cars that would be modern, reliable, but at the same time relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.
The solution was obvious – a monocoque- style body , but here Mercedes-Benz retained the classic line of wheel arches and thereby introduced the design of the pontoon body into automotive terminology . This was the new W120 180, first shown in July 1953. The release continued until the early 1960s, during which many models and upgrades were developed. So, in February 1954, the 180D diesel version appeared, and in March 1956, the more powerful and comfortable W121 190, to which the 190D diesel modification appeared in August 1958. But the most significant model was the “190SL” sports roadster, built on a common body with the W121, despite significant external differences (see description below).
The first six-cylinder, so-called. appeared in June 1954 with the W180 “220a” model , on which an engine with a capacity of 89 liters was installed. from. Like their younger brothers, cars have undergone a number of modifications. In March 1956, a similar “190” flagship series “220S” appeared, which was produced, in addition to a sedan, in the bodies of a two-door coupe and convertible with an engine power of 105 liters. from. Older 220a models are now referred to as 219 under the new W105 body number. In October 1958, models were introduced, equipped with a fuel injection system, and wore the code name “220SE” (E – Einspritzmotor ) for sedans, coupes and convertibles, which now became known as W128.
The production of large pontoons of the 220th series lasted until September 1959 (in a sedan) and November 1960 (coupes and convertibles). A total of 111,035 and 5,371 such vehicles were assembled, respectively. Younger pontoons were produced longer – until October 1962. Production totaled 442,963 W120 and W121 sedans, as well as 25,881 190SL roadsters. A total of 585,250 cars is the scale that allowed the brand to become famous throughout the world. Only officially cars were exported to 136 countries. During production, a solid base was created for the production of future models, and already in 1960, according to the analysis of the Daimler-Benz concern, the assembly of one car in Sindelfingentook only 25 hours. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the automotive world was undergoing rapid changes, and in order to remain competitive in an unequal battle with American manufacturers, new generations of automobiles were required.