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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mercedes-Benz


Mercedes-Benz
TypeDivision of Daimler AG
IndustryManufacturing
PredecessorBenz & Cie.
Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft
FoundedStuttgart, Germany (June 28, 1926)
Founder(s)Karl Benz
Gottlieb Daimler
HeadquartersStuttgartGermany
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleDieter Zetsche (Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division)
ProductsAutomobiles
Trucks
Buses
Internal combustion engines
ServicesFinancial services
ParentDaimler AG
Websitemercedes-benz.com

Mercedes-Benz (German pronunciation: [mɛʁˈtseːdəs ˈbɛnts]) is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG. Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, patented in January 1886 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. Mercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety innovations that later became common in other vehicles. 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.


History

Business alliances
Studebaker-Packard
In 1958, Mercedes-Benz entered into a distribution agreement with the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana (USA), makers of Studebaker and Packard brand automobiles. Under the deal, Studebaker would allow Mercedes-Benz access to its dealer network in the U.S., handle shipments of vehicles to the dealers, and in return, receive compensation for each car sold. Studebaker also was permitted to use the German automaker's name in its advertisements, which stressed Studebaker's quality over quantity.
When Studebaker entered into informal discussions with Franco-American automaker Facel Vega about offering Facel Vega Excellence model in the United States, Mercedes-Benz objected to the proposal. Studebaker, which needed Mercedes-Benz distribution payments to help stem heavy losses, dropped further action on the plan.
Mercedes-Benz maintained an office within the Studebaker works in South Bend from 1958 to 1963, when Studebaker's U.S. operations ceased. Many U.S Studebaker dealers converted to Mercedes-Benz dealerships at that time. When Studebaker closed its Canadian operation and left the automobile business in 1966, remaining Studebaker dealers had the option to convert their dealerships to Mercedes-Benz dealership agreements.

Subsidiaries
Mercedes-Benz AMG became a majority owned division of Mercedes-Benz in 1998.The company was integrated into DaimlerChrysler in 1999,and became Mercedes-Benz AMG beginning on 1 January 1999.

Quality rankings
Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz had maintained a reputation for its quality and durability. Objective measures looking at passenger vehicles - such as J. D. Power surveys, demonstrated a downturn in reputation in this criteria in the late 1990s and early 2000s. By mid-2005, Mercedes temporarily returned to the industry average for initial quality, a measure of problems after the first 90 days of ownership, according to J.D. Power. In J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study for the first quarter of 2007, Mercedes showed dramatic improvement by climbing from 25th to 5th place, surpassing quality leader Toyota, and earning several awards for its models. For 2008, Mercedes-Benz's initial quality rating improved by yet another mark, now in fourth place.[9] On top of this accolade, it also received the Platinum Plant Quality Award for its Mercedes’ Sindelfingen, Germany assembly plant. As of 2009, Consumer Reports of the United States has changed their reliability ratings for several Mercedes-Benz vehicles to "average", and are recommending the E-Class and the S-Class.

Corporate average fuel economy
In the United States, Mercedes-Benz was assessed a record US$30.66 million for their decision to not meet the federal corporate average fuel economy standard in 2009. Certain Mercedes-Benz cars including the S550, and all AMG models sold in the United States also face an additional gas guzzler tax.
In 2008, Mercedes had the worst CO2 average of all major European manufacturers, ranking 14th out of 14 manufacturers. Mercedes was also the worst manufacturer in 2007 and 2006 in terms of average CO2 levels, with 181 g and 188 g of CO2 emitted per km, respectively.

Production

Besides its native Germany, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are also manufactured or assembled in:
Argentina (buses, trucks and the Sprinter van. The first Mercedes-Benz factory outside of Germany)
Austria (G-Class)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil Manufacture the trucks, buses, C-Class, GL-Class, CLS-Class. Established in 1956.
Canada
Egypt via Egyptian German Automotive Company
Hungary (construction of a new plant in the country announced on 18 June 2008, for the next generation A- and B-Class)
India
Indonesia
Iran (Not since 2010)
Malaysia
Mexico - Mercedes Benz de Mexico is Mercedes's largest foreign branch by revenue, number of sales, vehicles manufactured and total employees and covers most of the Latin American and North American market.
Nigeria (buses, trucks, utility motors and the Sprinter van)
Philippines
Spain (Vitoria)
South Africa
South Korea (Mercedes-Benz Musso and MB100 models manufactured by SsangYong Motor Company)
Thailand (assembly of C, E and S class vehicles by the Thonburi Group)
Turkey
United Kingdom (The SLR sports car is built at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking).Brackley, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom Mercedes Grand Prix Factory
United States The Mercedes-Benz M-Class Sport Utility, the R-Class Sport Tourer, and the full-sized GL-Class Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle are all built at the Mercedes-Benz production facility near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Vietnam Passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Established in 1995.

Models

Current model range
Mercedes-Benz has a full range of passenger, light commercial and heavy commercial equipment. Production is on a global basis. The Smart marque of city cars has also been part of the Mercedes-Benz Group since 1994.

Passenger cars
List of Mercedes-Benz cars
Pope Benedict XVI in a Mercedes-Benz Popemobile in São Paulo, Brazil,.
A-Class - subcompact
B-Class - people carrier
C-Class - sedan (saloon), sports coupé (CLC), and estate
CL-Class - coupé
CLK-Class - coupé, convertible
CLS-Class - 4 door coupé
E-Class - sedan (saloon), coupé, convertible , and estate
G-Class - 4WD cross-country vehicle
GL-Class - SUV
GLK-Class - SUV
M-Class - SUV
R-Class - crossover minivan
S-Class - sedan (saloon)
SL-Class - roadster
SLK-Class - roadster
SLR McLaren - hardtop grand tourer
SLS AMG - luxury grand tourer

Trucks
List of Mercedes-Benz trucks
Mercedes-Benz is one of the world's largest manufacturers of trucks.
Buses and vans
Mercedes-Benz buses
Hitler's Mercedes Benz 770 Grosser Limousine in the Canadian War Museum
Mercedes-Benz Vario
Mercedes-Benz also produces buses, mainly for Europe and Asia. Mercedes-Benz produces a range of vans. The first factory to be built outside Germany after WWII was in Argentina. It originally built trucks, many of which were modified independently to buses, popularly named Colectivo. Today, it builds buses, trucks and the Sprinter van.

Significant models produced
1928: SSK racing car
1930: 770 "Grosser Mercedes" state and ceremonial car
1934: 500 K
1936: 260 D World's first diesel production car
1936: 170
1938: W195 Speed Record-breaker
1951: Mercedes-Benz 300, knownly as "Adenauer Mercedes"
1953: "Ponton" models
1954: 300SL "Gullwing"
1959: "Fintail" models
1960: 220SE Cabriolet
1963: 600 "Grand Mercedes"
1963: 230SL "Pagoda"
1965: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
1966: 300SEL 6.3
1968: W114 "new generation" compact cars
1969: C111 experimental vehicle
1972: Mercedes-Benz W107 350SL
1974: 450SEL 6.9
1974: 240D
1976: 300D
1979: 500SEL and G-Class
1983: 190E 2.3-16
1986: First 'E-Class'
1991: 600SEL
1993: First 'C-Class'
1995: First 'Joint Mercedes-Benz & AMG' (C43 AMG)
1995: Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG, 7.3 V12 (biggest engine ever put in a Mercedes-Benz)
1996: Mercedes-Benz Renntech E7.4RS
1996: Mercedes-Benz CLK
1997: Mercedes-Benz SLK
1997: Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2004: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
2004: Mercedes-Benz CLS
2007: E320, GL320 Bluetec, ML320 Bluetec, R320 Bluetec
2010: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

McLaren cars

A silver SLR McLaren on display at the 2006 European Motor Show in Brussels
Mercedes-Benz has also produced a limited-production sports car with McLaren Cars, an extension of the collaboration by which Mercedes engines are used by the Team McLaren-Mercedes Formula One racing team, which is part owned by Mercedes. The 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren has a carbon fibre body with a 5.4 litre V8 supercharged engine. This is the same cylinder block as featured in SL55 AMG and the CLS55 AMG, though modified to give 460 kilowatts (625 PS; 617 bhp) and 780 newton metres (575 ft·lbf) of torque. The SLR has a maximum speed of 337 kilometres per hour (209.4 mph) and costs approximately US$500,000. Due to European pedestrian-protection regulation, McLaren decided to cease production of the SLR in 2009.

Car nomenclature
In 1994 (starting with the 1994 models), the traditional nomenclature of Mercedes-Benz vehicles changed. Since the early days of the company, the name would be in the form of (for example) 500E where the engine displacement made up the first three numbers and the last letter(s) represented the type of engine and/or chassis; for example: E for fuel injection (German: Einspritzung), D for Diesel, L for long-wheelbase, etcetera.
In 1994, this was altered so that the prefix reflected the model or Class, German: Klasse, in Mercedes-Benz terminology, and a number for the engine displacement. The suffix was retained in some cases, for example L for long wheelbase, and CDI for Diesel (CDI = Common-rail Direct Injection). Thus, the 500E in the example above became the E500 ("E-Klasse", 5 litres displacement). It should also be noted that while in the past the model number generally accurately reflected the actual engine displacement, this is currently not always the case — for example the E200 CDI and E220 CDI actually both have a 2.1 litre displacement, and the C240 actually has a 2.6 litre engine.

Electric vehicles
At the 2007 Frankfurt motor show, Mercedes-Benz showed seven hybrid models, including the F700 concept car, which combined hybrid drive with the innovative DiesOtto engine. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz says it will have a demonstration fleet of practical, if small, electric vehicles on the road in two to three years, from 2008. Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID will be launched in 2009, and will be the first production automotive hybrid in the world to use a lithium-ion battery. In 2009, the S400 hybrid saloon is scheduled to go on sale.
Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO cars were introduced in the 2009 North American International Auto Show. Mercedes has showed in 2009 the Vision S500 PHEV petrol concept vehicle with a 19 miles (31 km) all-electric range and CO2 emissions of 74 grams/km in the New European Driving Cycle.
Mercedes-Benz and Smart are preparing for the widespread uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK by beginning the installation of recharging points across their dealer networks. So far 20 Elektrobay recharging units, produced in the UK by Brighton-based Elektromotive, have been installed at seven locations as part of a pilot project, and further expansion of the initiative is planned later 2010.
In mid-2010, production commenced on the Vito E-Cell all-electric van. Mercedes expects 100 vehicles to be produced by the end of 2010 and a further 2000 by the end of 2011.

Bicycles
Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH introduced 3 new bicycles in 2005, named Automatic Bike from upwards of USD$2699, Fitness Bike from upwards of USD$3999, Mountain Bike from upwards of USD$5399 (As were the Retail Prices recorded from immediate release date). The bikes are sold in Australia, Germany, and Russia. List of bicycles:
Mercedes-Benz Automatic Bike
Mercedes-Benz Carbon Bike
Mercedes-Benz Fitness Bike
Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Bike
Mercedes-Benz Mountain Bike
Mercedes-Benz Street Bike

Motorsport


A DMG Mercedes Simplex 1906 in the Deutsches Museum

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300Sc Cabriolet

1959 Mercedes-Benz W120 Model 180

The two companies which were merged to form the Mercedes-Benz brand in 1926 had both already enjoyed success in the new sport of motor racing throughout their separate histories - both had entries in the very first automobile race Paris to Rouen 1894. This has continued, and throughout its long history, the company has been involved in a range of motorsport activities, including sports car racing and rallying. On several occasions Mercedes-Benz has withdrawn completely from motorsport for a significant period, notably in the late 1930s, and after the 1955 Le Mans disaster, where a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR collided with another car and killed more than 80 spectators. Although there was some activity in the intervening years, it was not until 1987 that Mercedes-Benz returned to front line competition, returning to Le Mans, Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM), and Formula One with Sauber.

The 1990s saw Mercedes-Benz purchase British engine builder Ilmor (now Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines), and campaign IndyCars under the USAC/CART rules, eventually winning the 1994 Indianapolis 500 and 1994 CART IndyCar World Series Championship with Al Unser, Jr. at the wheel. The 1990s also saw the return of Mercedes-Benz to GT racing, and the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, both of which took the company to new heights by dominating the FIA's GT1 class.
Mercedes-Benz is currently active in three forms of motorsport, Formula Three, DTM and Formula One.

Formula 1
Main article: Mercedes GP
Mercedes-Benz took part in the world championship in 1954 and 1955, but despite being successful with two championship titles for Juan-Manuel Fangio, the company left the sport after just two seasons.
Mercedes-Benz returned as an engine supplier in the 1990s and part-owned Team McLaren for some years, to which it has supplied engines engineered by Ilmor since 1995. This partnership brought success, including drivers championships for Mika Häkkinen in 1998 and 1999, and for Lewis Hamilton in 2008, as well as a constructors championship in 1998. The collaboration with McLaren has been extended into the production of roadgoing cars such as the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
In 2007 McLaren and Mercedes was fined a record $100 Million for stealing confidential Ferrari technical data.
In 2009, Ross Brawn's newly conceived Formula One team, Brawn GP used Mercedes engines to help win the constructor's championship, and Jenson Button to become champion in the F1 drivers' championship. At the end of the season, Mercedes-Benz sold back its 40% stake in McLaren to the McLaren Group and bought 70% of the Brawn GP team jointly with an Abu Dubai based investment consortium. Brawn GP was renamed Mercedes GP for the 2010 season and is, from this season on, a works team for Mercedes-Benz.

Tuners

Several companies have become car tuners (or modifiers) of Mercedes Benz, in order to increase performance and/or luxury to a given model.

In house
AMG is Mercedes-Benz's in-house performance-tuning division, specialising in high-performance versions of most Mercedes-Benz cars. AMG engines are all hand-built, and each completed engine receives a tag with the signature of the engineer who built it. AMG has been wholly owned by Mercedes-Benz since 1999. On the 2009 IAA in Frankfurt, Germany, Mercedes officially introduced the SLS AMG, a revival of the 300SL Gullwing, and the first car to be entirely developed by AMG.

Aftermarket tuners
There are numerous independent tuners:
Brabus
Carlsson
Kicherer
Kleemann
Lorinser
Renntech
MKB
Fluid MotorUnion

Noted employees


This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2008)
Béla Barényi - car safety pioneer and original designer of the Volkswagen Beetle concept
Nicholas Dreystadt - Cadillac manager
Juan Manuel Fangio - considered by many to be the best F1 driver in history 
Wilhelm Maybach - automotive pioneer
Stirling Moss - F1 driver
Ferdinand Piëch - Volkswagen and Porsche manager
Ferdinand Porsche - founder of Porsche
Rudolf Uhlenhaut - designer of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Bruno Sacco - automotive designer
Mika Häkkinen - F1 driver, World Champion 1998-1999
Lewis Hamilton - F1 driver, World Champion 2008
Jenson Button - F1 driver World Champion 2009
Michael Schumacher - F1 driver world champion (with other teams) 1994-1995, 2000–2004
Adolf Eichmann - Nazi Criminal (worked in Argentine division after WWII)

Innovations

Numerous technological innovations have been introduced on Mercedes-Benz automobiles throughout the many years of their production, including:
The internal combustion engined automobile was developed independently by Benz and Daimler & Maybach in 1886
Daimler invented the honeycomb radiator of the type still used on all water-cooled vehicles today
Daimler invented the float carburetor which was used until replaced by fuel injection
The "drop chassis" - the car originally designated the "Mercedes" by Daimler was also the first car with a modern configuration, having the carriage lowered and set between the front and rear wheels, with a front engine and powered rear wheels. All earlier cars were "horseless carriages", which had high centres of gravity and various engine/drive-train configurations
The first passenger road car to have brakes on all four wheels (1924)
The "safety cage" or "safety cell" construction with front and rear crumple zones was first developed by Mercedes-Benz in 1951. This is considered by many as the most important innovation in automobile construction from a safety standpoint
In 1959, Mercedes-Benz patented a device that prevents drive wheels from spinning by intervening at the engine, transmission, or brakes. In 1987, Mercedes-Benz applied its patent by introducing a traction control system that worked under both braking and acceleration
Traction control and airbags in the European market, were Mercedes-Benz innovations.[citation needed] These technologies were introduced in 1986, and 1980 respectively
Mercedes-Benz was the first to introduce pre-tensioners to seat belts on the 1981 S-Class. In the event of a crash, a pre-tensioner will tighten the belt instantaneously, removing any 'slack' in the belt, which prevents the occupant from jerking forward in a crash
In September 2003, Mercedes-Benz introduced the world's first seven-speed automatic transmission called '7G-Tronic'
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), brake assist,[54] and many other types of safety equipment were all developed, tested, and implemented into passenger cars—first—by Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz has not made a large fuss about its innovations, and has even licensed them for use by competitors — in the name of improving automobile and passenger safety. As a result, crumple zones and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are now standard on all modern vehicles.

Mercedes M156 engine
The most powerful naturally aspirated eight cylinder engine in the world is the Mercedes-AMG, 6208 cc M156 V8 engine. The V8 engine is badged '63 AMG', and replaced the '55 AMG' M113 engine in most models. The M156 engine produces up to 391 kW (532 PS; 524 bhp), and although some models using this engine do have this output (such as the S63 and CL63 AMGs), specific output varies slightly across other models in the range
The (W211) E320 CDI which has a variable geometry turbocharger (VTG) 3.0 litre V6 common rail diesel engine (producing 224-horsepower), set three world endurance records. It covered 100,000 miles (160,000 km) in a record time, with an average speed of 224.823 kilometres per hour (139.70 mph). Three identical cars did the endurance run (one set above record) and the other two cars set world records for time taken to cover 100,000 kilometres (62,137 mi) and 50,000 miles (80,000 km) respectively. After all three cars had completed the run, their combined distance was 300,000 miles (480,000 km) (all records were FIA approved).
Mercedes-Benz pioneered a system called Pre-Safe to detect an imminent crash - and prepares the car's safety systems to respond optimally. It also calculates the optimal braking force required to avoid an accident in emergency situations, and makes it immediately available for when the driver depresses the brake pedal. Occupants are also prepared by tightening the seat belt, closing the sunroof and windows, and moving the seats into the optimal position.
Half a century of vehicle safety innovation helped win Mercedes-Benz the Safety Award at the 2007 What Car? Awards 

Robot cars
Main article: Driverless car
In the 1980s, Mercedes built the world's first robot car, together with the team of Professor Ernst Dickmanns at Bundeswehr Universität München. Partially encouraged by Dickmanns' success, in 1987 the European Union's EUREKA programme initiated the Prometheus Project on autonomous vehicles, funded to the tune of nearly 800 million Euros. A culmination point was achieved in 1995, when Dickmanns' re-engineered autonomous S-Class Mercedes took a long trip from Munich in Bavaria to Copenhagen in Denmark, and back. On highways, the robot achieved speeds exceeding 175 kilometres per hour (109 mph) (permissible in some areas of the German Autobahn). The car's abilities has heavily influenced robot car research and funding decisions worldwide.


(source:wikipedia0

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