Mercedes Benz

Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, patented in January 1886[1] 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.[1] Mercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety innovations that later became common in other vehicles.[2] Mercedes-Benz is one of the most well-known and established automotive brands in the world, and is also the world's oldest automotive brand still in existence today. For information relating to the famous three-pointed star, see under the title Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft including the merger into Daimler-Benz.

The Mercedes-Benz Trucks L-series is a conventional layout, cab-after-engine truck manufactured from 1958 to 1995. (L series) (L serie)

The L-series was first produced in Germany in 1958 and was in production for export until 1995. The L-series was a big export success for Mercedes-Benz and became very popular in the Middle-East, South America and Africa. In Arabia, the L-series in 6x6 sleeper cab configuration (Model 'LS') handled heavy road traction almost exclusively.

Just as the Dodge Power Wagon became synonymous with oil exploration throughout Arabia in the 1950s, the L-series, together with the Kenworth 953 became the two trucks which were synonymous with the oil exploration boom in Arabia throughout the 1960s. Many roads throughout Arabia were not surfaced until the early Eighties and there were no weight or length limitations on road haulage. This meant that the trucks carried heavier loads than for which they were designed, in some instances three times the maximum designed loaded weight, and in carrying these loads, the L-series gained a reputation for toughness and reliability. Nearly all L-series shipped to Arabia were orange in color, but all L-series shipped to North Africa were green in color.

After 1995 production in Germany ceased but was continued at Mercedes-Benz factories in South America. The L-series remains in service throughout all of the regions to which it was exported.

Daimler-Benz AG (German pronunciation: [ˈdaɪmlɐ ˈbɛnts]) was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motor vehicles, and internal combustion engines; founded in 1926. An Agreement of Mutual Interest - which was valid until year 2000 - was signed on 1 May 1924 between Karl Benz's Benz & Cie., and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, which had been founded by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. Daimler had died in 1900, and Maybach had left in 1907.

Both companies continued to manufacture their separate automobile and internal combustion engine marques until, on 28 June 1926, when Benz & Cie. and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft formally merged - becoming Daimler-Benz AG (Aktiengesellschaft) - and agreed that thereafter, all of the factories would use the brand name of "Mercedes-Benz" on their automobiles. The inclusion of the name Mercedes in the new brand name honored the most important model series of DMG automobiles, the Mercedes series, which were designed and built by Wilhelm Maybach. They derived their name from a 1900 engine named after the daughter of Emil Jellinek. Jellinek became one of DMG's directors in 1900, ordered a small number of motor racing cars built to his specifications by Maybach, stipulated that the engine must be named Daimler-Mercedes, and made the new automobile famous through motorsports. That race car later became known as the Mercedes 35 hp. The first of the series of production models bearing the name, Mercedes, had been produced by DMG in 1902. Jellinek left the DMG board of directors in 1909.

The name of Daimler as a marque of automobiles had been sold by DMG - following his death in 1900 - for use by other companies (Daimler Motor Company and Austro-Daimler), so the new company, Daimler-Benz, would have created confusion and legal problems to include Daimler in its new brand name, and therefore, used Mercedes to represent the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft interest. Karl Benz remained as a member of the board of directors of Daimler-Benz AG until his death in 1929.

Although Daimler-Benz is best known for its Mercedes-Benz automobile brand, during World War II it also created a notable series of aircraft, tank, and submarine engines. Daimler also produced parts for German arms, most notably barrels for the Mauser rifle. During World War II Daimler-Benz employed slave labour. The slaves "toiled eighteen hours a day; cowering under the lash, sleeping six to a dog kennel eight feet square, starving or freezing to death at the whim of their guards."[1]

In 1989 Daimler-Benz InterServices AG (Debis) was created to handle data processing, financial and insurance services, and real estate management for the Daimler group[2].

In 1998, Daimler-Benz AG bought the American automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corporation, and formed DaimlerChrysler AG. When the Chrysler Group was subsequently sold off to Cerberus Capital Management and renamed Chrysler LLC in August 2007, the name of the parent company was changed to simply Daimler AG within two months.

Mercedes-Benz first made its appearance in Australia just before the turn of the century with the arrival of the Benz Velo car. From the early 1920s Mercedes-Benz trucks played an active role in the mechanisation of the farming industry. However, it was not until 1958 that Mercedes-Benz made a serious commitment to Australia through the incorporation of Mercedes-Benz Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz A.G of West Germany. Ever since, the Three Pointed Star has played a significant role in road transport. The first Mercedes-Benz trucks to gain any real acceptance in Australia were the 1418, 1419 and the 1923 models in the late 1960s and early 1970s, replacing the medium sized Dodge and Internationals.

The 2224, 2232 and 2632 were all also well accepted and used in many applications throughout Australia. The 1418 was a very popular truck, and much to the amazement of many, several thrived on a career pulling double roadtrains from Adelaide to Darwin in the 1970s when the road was dirt from Port Augusta in SA to the NT border and a single lane run down a WW2 bitumen track from there to Darwin. So isolated was the road in those days, that the standard directions on leaving Port Augusta in South Australia were “follow this road until you come to the next set of traffic lights and turn right”. The next set of lights were, of course, in Darwin nearly 4000 kilometres up the track.

The Mercedes-Benz truck range is very diversified and covers the full spectrum from the light truck range right up to roadtrains and specialised off-road and heavy duty trucks. Over 2000 Unimogs have been supplied to the Armed Forces since 1982. Additionally, most of Australia’s public transport authorities use the Mercedes-Benz range of buses and coaches. In fact, Sydney operates the world’s largest Mercedes-Benz city bus fleet in the world. Mercedes- Benz also claims to hold the dominant share of the private bus market in Australia.

Norm’s sons followed him into the industry with the purchase of a new 1418 Mercedes-Benz. The 1418 is without doubt one of the great success stories leading up to the 1970s, but they also brought their share of problems. On the road between Wodonga and Melbourne, it wasn’t unusual for ten or more 1418s, all line abreast rolling through the Victorian country side and all unable to pass each other because they were all fitted with the same 58 mph differential. Slipstreaming to get a run at the bloke in front became an art form and the industry was getting tough.