1998

  • 10 - 19 January 1998
  • Under the slogan "The year of the eight-cylinder”, the V8 Mercedes-Benz ML 430 and CLK 430 models are presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan/USA.
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  • 5 - 14 February 1998
  • The light-duty Mercedes-Benz Atego truck for short-radius distribution is presented to the public at the BedrijfsautoRAI international commercial vehicle show in Amsterdam. The new vehicle family covers the weight segment from 6.5 to 15 tonnes.
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  • 9 February 1998
  • The first A-Class cars fitted with ESP leave the assembly line at the Rastatt plant after a three-month break in production.
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  • 25 February 1998
  • Daimler-Benz Advanced Design Italia S.r.I. is founded in Como, Italy, as the company's third Advanced Design Studio after Irvine, California/USA, and Yokohama, Japan. The new facility will focus primarily on interior design.
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  • 5 - 15 March 1998
  • The Mercedes-Benz CLK Convertible (208 series) and E 55 AMG Estate (210 series) celebrate their world premieres at the Geneva Motor Show. The smart City Coupé produced by Micro Compact AG is presented in its revised version, scheduled to go into production in the autumn.
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  • 5 March 1998
  • During a two-day innovation symposium taking place at Stuttgart's Mercedes Forum, the Daimler-Benz Innovation Prize for 1997 is awarded to the basic concept for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. At the same time, Daimler-Benz presents an A-Class experimental vehicle with electric drive system, which draws its power from a ZEBRA high-capacity sodium-nickel chloride battery.
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  • 8 March 1998
  • The new Freightliner Argosy heavy-duty truck, designed specifically for North American highways and fitted with a large number of innovations, goes into series production.
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  • 8 March 1998
  • At the Australian Grand Prix, the opening race of the Formula One season in Melbourne, AMG deploys a C 55 AMG Estate as the new Medical Car. The official Safety Car remains the CLK 55 AMG first used in 1997.
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  • 21 March 1998
  • After its successful launch in the USA, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class also appears at sales and service outlets and dealerships across Europe.
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  • 31 March 1998
  • The newly developed Mercedes-Benz Econic waste disposal vehicle is unveiled to the press in Arbon, Switzerland. Production of the vehicle takes place at the Swiss subsidiary NAW Nutzfahrzeuge AG, which was also responsible for the entire development process.
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  • 12 April 1998
  • In the first race of the 1998 FIA GT Championship Klaus Ludwig/Ricardo Zonta, Jean-Marc Gounon/Marcel Tiemann and Bernd Schneider/Mark Webber capture triple victory in a Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR.
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  • 24 April - 3 May 1998
  • The new model range of the revised Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (R 129 series) is presented at the Turin Motor Show. Also on display is a magma-red show car, whose sporty characteristics demonstrate the versatility of the A-Class concept. Five months before the start of sales, the smart brand also presents itself with an attractive show car.
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  • 25/26 April 1998
  • At the first event of the truck racing season in Dijon, France, Markus Oestreich wins the second run of the Super Race Trucks in the new Mercedes-Benz Atego racing truck. Ludovic Faure and Steve Parrish come in second and third.
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  • 27 April 1998
  • A new customer center is opened at the Daimler-Benz plant in Bremen. The delivery and experience center was built in 15 months at a total cost of DM 36 million and offers Mercedes-Benz customers the option of collecting their car in person from the Bremen plant.
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  • 29 April - 3 May 1998
  • The new top-of-the-range G-Class model, the G 500 with 221 kW / 300 hp V8 engine from the M 113 series, is unveiled to the public at the International Off-Road Show in Munich.
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  • 5 May 1998
  • A new type of service contract, which allows private customers to cover the full costs of maintenance and repairs for their vehicle, extends the range of services available for all newly registered Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
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  • 7 May 1998
  • Daimler-Benz AG and America’s Chrysler Corporation sign a contract to merge the two companies, after discussions about a potential merger become public knowledge just the day before.
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  • 15 June 1998
  • With a special dividend of DM 20 per share, Daimler-Benz transfers retained earnings of DM 7.4 billion to its shareholders. The profit distribution is injected back into the company as a result of a 10:1 increase in capital.
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  • 26 June 1998
  • Daimler-Benz announces the phased take-over of Affalterbach-based AMG GmbH. On 1 January 1999, AMG is to transfer an initial 51 % holding in its company to Daimler-Benz, the remainder following in instalments over the next 10 years.
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  • 28 June 1998
  • The first competitive outing of the Mercedes-Benz CLK-LM racing sports car in the FIA GT Championship at the Hockenheimring ends with a one-two win for Bernd Schneider/Mark Webber and Klaus Ludwig/Ricardo Zonta.
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  • 20 July 1998
  • The first 54 members of staff move into offices at the new headquarters of the Mercedes-Benz Deutschland sales organisation at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. By the end of August a total of around 550 staff from Stuttgart and other locations will have moved with their families to Berlin, where some 200 new jobs will be created.
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  • 22 July 1998
  • The first truck from the "Sterling" brand leaves the production plant in St. Thomas, Canada, joining Freightliner to complement the Daimler-Benz American heavy-duty truck range.
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  • 24 July 1998
  • The new in-line engine plant, part of the original Daimler-Benz plant at Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, is officially opened. Production of state-of-the-art CDI direct injection diesel engines takes place at the production centre, built on the back of investment totaling DM 900 million.
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  • July 1998
  • The Mercedes-Benz product range is expanded by six new diesel passenger cars with CDI direct injection engines. The market introduction of the C 200 CDI and E 220 CDI – both available as Saloon or Estate – and the E 200 CDI is joined by the launch of the A 170 CDI. This is followed in September by a second A-Class diesel model, the A 160 CDI.
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  • August 1998
  • The Daimler-Benz Corporate University begins work. The key objective of this internationally-oriented institution is to prepare managers for the Group's strategic challenges.
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  • 3 - 10 September 1998
  • The Mercedes-Benz Atego range is expanded to include a second line at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover. The newly developed range of models for heavy-duty short-radius distribution in the weight category from 18 to 26 tonnes comes onto the market later in the year. Mercedes-Benz also presents the van study "Altra" with integral light-alloy body enabling a 500 kg higher payload. The Mercedes-Benz Cito, an urban midibus with low-floor technology and diesel-electric drive, also celebrates its world premiere. The rural service variant Citaro Ü and the three-axle Citaro L expand the model family of the successful regular service bus, and with the Integro L another three-axle bus makes its debut. On display for the first time is also the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo in the super-high-decker touring variant. Setra presents the S 319-GT-HD as the new touring coach in the 15-metre category and introduces the new designations TopClass, ComfortClass and MultiClass for its bus and coach serie
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  • 17 September 1998
  • At the Extraordinary General Meeting of Daimler-Benz AG at Stuttgart’s Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle, 99.9 % of shareholders vote in favor of the merger with Chrysler. The proposal receives a similar endorsement at Chrysler Corporation, with 97.5 % of shareholders present at the company’s Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting also backing the merger.
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  • 1 - 11 October 1998
  • The new 220-series S-Class celebrates its world premiere before the public at the Paris Motor Show. The top-of-the-range model of the Mercedes-Benz brand is launched featuring over 30 innovations including AIRMATIC air suspension, which incorporates ADS adaptive damping. Other innovations include the display and operating system COMAND, the KEYLESS-GO drive authorisation system and DISTRONIC autonomous intelligent cruise control. In Paris the Daimler-Benz subsidiary Micro Compact Car AG presents a diesel variant of the smart City Coupé.
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  • 2 October 1998
  • The Daimler-Benz "Quartier" at Potsdamer Platz is officially opened in a ceremony attended by German President Dr Roman Herzog, over 4000 guests and more than 1000 journalists. The new Potsdamer Platz, the creative masterpiece of Renzo Piano and Christoph Kohlbecker, comprises 19 buildings, 10 new streets, a central piazza and water features over an area of 12,000 sq m along what was once the border between East and West Berlin. debis Immobilienmanagement GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of debis AG, had assumed responsibility for the on-site realisation of the project.
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  • 3/4 October 1998
  • At the last event of the truck racing season, traditionally held in Jarama, Spain, the French driver Ludovic Faure takes second and third place in the two runs in a Mercedes-Benz Atego racing truck to win the Super Race Truck European Cup. Mercedes-Benz also finishes top of the constructors’ rankings, with a large lead. In the Race Trucks category, Heinz-Werner Lenz in a Mercedes-Benz 1838 S wins both runs to become European champion for the second time.
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  • 7 October 1998
  • Daimler-Benz AG reaches agreement with the US company Thomas Built Buses to take over the school bus manufacturer, based in High Point, North Carolina/USA. Daimler-Benz acquires 100 % of shares in Thomas Built Buses through its subsidiary Freightliner Corp.
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  • 8 October 1998
  • The testing grounds at Papenburg in the Emsland region, built by Daimler-Benz at a cost of DM 260 million, are officially opened after 43 months of construction. Spanning 870 hectares, Europe’ s largest test track will be in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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  • 15 October 1998
  • Daimler-Benz AG and Hako Holding GmbH & Co., Bad Oldesloe, sign a Memorandum of Understanding, according to which the assembly facilities and product and sales rights for the UX 100 will be sold to Hako with effect from 1 January 1999.
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  • 15 October 1998
  • Daimler-Benz opens the Customer Assistance Center (CAC) in Maastricht in the Netherlands. The CAC attends to Mercedes-Benz customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, responding to emergency calls, providing round-the-clock service, answering inquiries and dealing with complaints.
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