1981

  • 26 January - 1 February 1981
  • In Rovaniemi, Finland, Daimler-Benz presents to the international press an anti-lock braking system for commercial vehicles, jointly developed with brake manufacturer WABCO. The system is offered as a world first initially for heavy-duty trucks and the O 303 touring coach.
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  • 2 March 1981
  • In Untertürkheim, an experimental O 305 bus with methanol propulsion is introduced. Three days later, a large-scale test with 30 methanol-powered 280 SE passenger cars starts in Berlin as part of the Alternative Drive Systems project supported by the Federal German Ministry for Research and Technology.
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  • 5 - 15 March 1981
  • Daimler-Benz presents the airbag and belt tensioner at the International Motor Show in Geneva. This combination of restraint systems becomes available on 20 July, initially for drivers and front passengers of the S-Class saloon models of the 126-series. Daimler-Benz is therefore the world’s first automobile manufacturer to introduce the airbag and belt tensioner as important elements of passive safety in a production automobile.
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  • 1 - 8 April 1981
  • A large-capacity track-guided bus is introduced as an addition to the O-Bahn concept at the Hanover Trade Fair. The O 305 G 2 is a 24-metre, four-axle double articulated bus with capacity for 238 people; it is powered by two electric motors each with an output of 250 kW.
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  • 5 May 1981
  • Daimler-Benz AG and Consolidated Freightways Inc. based in San Francisco, California/USA, sign a contract on the takeover of heavy-duty truck manufacturer Freightliner and of light alloy, casting and foamed material parts manufacturer Consolidated Metco by Daimler-Benz.
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  • 1 August 1981
  • Daimler-Benz takes over Freightliner Corporation und Consolidated Metco, Inc., headquartered in Portland, Oregon/USA, from Consolidated Freightways Inc. With that, Daimler-Benz AG participates for the first time in the North American heavy-duty truck business.
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  • 17 - 27 September 1981
  • The 380 SEC and 500 SEC S-Class coupes (126-series) make their debuts at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. Another first on display is the Mercedes-Benz Energy Concept, which permits significant reductions in the fuel consumption of the six and eight-cylinder passenger cars in particular. Another new product is a 200 saloon (123-series) equipped to operate on petrol or liquefied petroleum gas and scheduled to go on sale starting in autumn 1982. Mercedes-Benz presents Auto 2000 at the motor show as a test vehicle for developing innovations in passenger car design. It tests three different drive units: a V6 diesel engine with compound turbocharging, a V8 petrol engine with cylinder cut-out system, and a gas turbine. In the commercial vehicle sector, the van series introduced in 1967 (internally designated T 2) makes its debut with improved design and equipment along with the 4.6-tonne variants of the light van series presented in 1977 (internally designated TN or T 1). Also new are two larg
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  • 1 October 1981
  • Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG takes over the 50 % stake in Geländefahrzeug Gesellschaft mbH held by Daimler-Benz and now assembles the cross-country vehicle at the Steyr plant in Graz, Austria, by commission order. On 12 November Daimler-Benz AG establishes UBG Beratungsgesellschaft mbH (a consultancy) to represent its interests in Graz.
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  • 8 November 1981
  • The foundation stone is laid at the Berlin-Marienfelde plant for the new research centre of the Daimler-Benz Berlin Research Group established in 1977. Daimler-Benz invests DM 25 million in the construction of a driving simulator to further intensify future research into the interaction between driver and vehicle in road traffic situations.
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  • December 1981
  • The house in Schorndorf where Gottlieb Daimler was born, acquired by Daimler-Benz AG in July 1979 and completely restored, is dedicated as a memorial to the inventor and company founder.
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