Anniversaries 2019 by year

130 years ago


5 February 1889:

Gottlieb Daimler concludes a licensing agreement with Louise Sarazin, giving her the rights to Daimler patents in France. Madame Sarazin, the widow of Daimler’s long-time business friend Édouard Sarazin, subsequently transfers her rights of use to the Panhard & Levassor company based in Paris.


9 June 1889:

Gottlieb Daimler has his new two-cylinder V-engine patented by the Imperial German Patent Office (patent no. DRP 50 839 issued on 5 February 1890). The world's first V-engine has a cylinder angle of 17° and develops 1.5 hp / 1.1 kW at 600 rpm. This power unit serves as a universal drive system for road, rail and water-based vehicles, including the motorised quadricycle (the wire-wheel car) designed by Daimler and Maybach.


29 October 1889:

Panhard & Levassor delivers the first engine built under a Daimler licence in France to a customer in Barcelona. The second such engine follows on 12 December.


October 1889:

At the Paris World Exposition, at which a Benz Patent Motor Car is also exhibited, Daimler and Maybach present their V-engine and the motorised quadricycle (the wire-wheel car). This heralds the birth of the French automobile industry. The wire-wheel car is equipped with the four-speed, gear-only transmission invented by Maybach.


125 years ago


April 1894:

With the Motor Velocipede ("Velo"), Benz & Cie. adds a very reasonably priced compact model to its sales range. The Benz Velo becomes the world's first volume-produced automobile: a total of 1200 units in all variants are built up to 1901.


16 - 22 July 1894:

Theodor von Liebieg undertakes remarkable long-distance journey in his Benz Victoria. The 939-km route starts from Reichenberg in Bohemia and continues via Mannheim to Gondorf, on the Moselle river. After a brief excursion to the French city of Reims, Liebieg sets out on the return journey from Gondorf on 22 August, arriving in Reichenberg nine days later.


22 July 1894:

The first competitive automobile race takes place as an endurance test between Paris and Rouen. Of the 21 entrants lining up at the start, 15 make it to the finish – including nine vehicles powered by Panhard-Levassor engines produced under Daimler licence and a 3 hp / 2.2 kW Benz Vis-à-Vis.


10 October 1894:

Gottlieb Daimler leaves Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and officially relinquishes his role as shareholder. He and Wilhelm Maybach continue their work on furthering the development of the automobile at the Hotel Hermann in Cannstatt.


120 years ago


17 February 1899:

The first Daimler engine designed for the Graf Zeppelin airship is delivered. The 4.4-litre four-cylinder all-alloy engine (model N) delivers 15 hp / 11 kW at 700 rpm. Powered by two Daimler engines, the LZ 1 airship takes off on its maiden flight on 2 July 1900.


21 March 1899:

Wilhelm Bauer wins the Nice - Magagnosc - Nice touring race held during Nice Week in a Daimler Phoenix two-seater racing car. Bauer covers the 85-km route at an average speed of 34.7 km/h. Success proves elusive, however, in both the speed event and the Nice - La Turbie hillclimb. Back in Cannstatt, Emil Jellinek – who had entered the Daimler driven by Bauer under his pseudonym "Mercédès" – � � subsequently insists on the development of a new car which will guarantee victory the following year.


8 May 1899:

The Benz & Co., Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik Mannheim general partnership is converted into a public company. Carl Benz is joined on the Board of Management by commercial director Julius Ganß. The company is entered in the Commercial Register on 8 June.


2 July 1899:

In the Frankfurt - Cologne long-distance race, two Benz cars driven by Fritz Held and Emil Graf take the first two places, despite gales, rain and muddy roads.


11 August 1899:

Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Commanditgesellschaft Bierenz, Fischer & Co., Wiener Neustadt, is set up to represent DMG in Austria-Hungary. The company’s own production activities are relatively modest and concentrate initially on the assembly of parts delivered from Cannstatt.


27 August 1899:

The Semmering hillclimb, starting in Schottwien, Austria, is held for the first time. Initially a club outing and not an official race, it soon becomes one of the most important motoring events. Emil Jellinek posts the fastest time in the motor car category, driving a 16 hp Daimler Phoenix.


29 September 1899:

DMG files the name "Daimler" at the Imperial Patent Office. It becomes a registered trademark on 4 December.


110 years ago


14 March 1909:

Benz & Cie. submits a patent application for the prechamber system invented for diesel engines inented for the company by Prosper L'Orange (patent no. DRP 230 517).


April 1909:

After signing a pre-contractual agreement covering manufacturing licences, DMG decides to build the sleeve-valve engine invented by the American Charles J. Knight in a six-unit test series. The first such unit is completed on 23 July.


1 May 1909:

German Paul Graetz completes the first crossing of Africa by car, arriving at Swakopmund, German South West Africa. His specially-designed 35 hp car is constructed at Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik Gaggenau GmbH and features a special body built by the Neuss coachworks in Berlin. The 9500-km journey began in Dar-es-Salaam, German East Africa, on 10 August 1907.


May 1909:

Five months after the presentation of its prototype in the Mercedes Palace in Paris, DMG begins delivery of the 15/20 hp "Mercedes Cardan" car with propshaft drive, adding an inexpensive entry-level model and a second propshaft-driven passenger car to the sales range.


10 - 18 June 1909:

DMG works driver Alfred Vischer steers Willy Pöge's Mercedes touring car to second place in the second Prinz Heinrich Rally, staged over the 1858-km Berlin - Breslau - Tatra - Lomnicz - Vienna - Salzburg - Munich route. Pöge's car is a more powerful version of the new 15/20 hp car with propshaft drive.


24 June 1909:

DMG applies to protect designs for a three-pointed star and, four days later, for a four-pointed star. Both variants are registered as trademarks on 9 February 1911. Whereas the four-pointed star is not introduced until 1989 by Deutsche Aerospace AG (DASA), the three-pointed star is used immediately and soon becomes one of the world's most recognised trademarks.


July 1909:

Production of the first 120 hp / 88 kW four-cylinder J 4 F power unit marks the beginning of aeroengine construction at DMG. The 30 hp / 22 kW B 4 F duly follows one month later, with the first 60 hp / 44 kW four-cylinder D 4 F variant – which remains in production until 1912 – completed in September.


6 August 1909:

Benz & Cie. submits its new trademark to the Imperial Patent Office. It shows the name Benz inside a stylised laurel wreath and is officially registered as a trademark on 10 October 1910.


22 August 1909:

Fritz Erle takes victory in the one-kilometre race in Frankfurt am Main at the wheel of the 200 hp Benz racing car, which would later become famous as the "Lightning Benz" or "Blitzen Benz", at an average speed of 159.3 km/h.


19 September 1909:

Following up on his success of 1908 and driving a 160 hp Mercedes racing car owned by Theodor Dreher, Otto Salzer once again posts the best time at the eleventh Semmering Race, improving his record of the previous year to 84.3 km/h. With that, Mercedes scores its ninth consecutive overall win in this major hillclimb event.


8 November 1909:

Victor Hémery sets two new world records in a 200 hp Benz at the Brooklands race track near Weybridge, UK. He completes the half mile with flying start at a speed of 205.7 km/h.


100 years ago


January 1919:

The Sindelfingen plant begins manufacturing furniture to keep the staff in work and make use of the stocks of wood piled up for aircraft production. By mid-1919 the plant produces hundreds of bedroom suites in simple quality along with high-quality living room and bedroom furniture with fine wood veneer.


January 1919:

The DMG customer magazine Daimler-Zeitung is printed for the first time. However, publication ceases again in December after only seven issues.


February 1919:

With the Daimler tractors DZ 0, DZ 1 and DZ 3, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft adds to its model range three all-wheel-drive tractor units based on the K.D.I. 100 artillery tractor.


18 March 1919:

Benz & Cie. submits a patent application for the "combustion engine with ignition chamber" developed by Prosper L'Orange. This "funnel patent" (patent no. DRP 397 142) opens the door to the practical implementation of the high-speed diesel engine for use in (road) vehicles.


March 1919:

In view of the inflationary trend, employees at the Sindelfingen plant go on strike for a cost-of-living allowance. In the course of the year, the workers strike repeatedly at all three factories of DMG.


6 June 1919:

The Daimler-Werkzeitung employees' newspaper, edited by cultural philosopher Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, receives its first print run. This in-house publication is intended to inform the workforce in particular about new economic thinking during a period of political and social upheavals following the end of the First World War. The last issue is published on 26 August 1920, the day after the closure of Daimler's Untertürkheim plant.


1 July 1919:

A trainee department is established at the Benz plant in Gaggenau.


11 - 15 September 1919:

The three-wheeled Benz-Sendling T 3 motorised plough makes its debut at the DLG (German Agricultural Society) exhibition in Magdeburg and wins a silver medal. The newly established Benz-Sendling Motorpflug GmbH in Berlin is a joint undertaking of Benz & Cie. and Munich-based Motorenfabrik München-Sendling. Production of motorised ploughs takes place at Automobil-und Aviatik AG in Leipzig, in which Benz & Cie. have held an interest since 1915.


17 October 1919:

A 10/30 hp Mercedes-Knight test car equipped with a Roots blower makes its first test run. This marks the beginning of the development of supercharged engines for production passenger cars by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft.


October 1919:

Benz & Cie. produce the farm tractor that will see use both in agriculture and as a road-going tractor.


12 November 1919:

The Daimler-Werksnachrichten is published as an information bulletin for employees of DMG in the Untertürkheim and Sindelfingen factories. It ceases publication in October 1922.


90 years ago


1 January 1929:

Dr Hans Nibel, chief engineer at Benz & Cie. since 1908 and co-responsible for the joint design office of the community of interests with Dr Ferdinand Porsche from 1925, assumes sole responsibility as chief engineer of Daimler-Benz AG after Porsche leaves the company at the end of 1928.


4 April 1929:

Dr Carl Benz, inventor of the automobile and the company's founding father, dies at the age of 84 in Ladenburg.


17 August 1929:

Rudolf Caracciola wins the 410-mile International Tourist Trophy race on the Ards road circuit near Belfast, Northern Ireland, in a Mercedes-Benz SS.


3 - 13 October 1929:

The Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460 (W 08) makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show. The model presented is a revised version with more elegant bodywork and a low frame. The Mercedes-Benz 350 Mannheim (W 10), a further development of the 14/60 hp 3.5-litre model first built in 1928, is also unveiled.


29 December 1929:

Dr Wilhelm Maybach, long-time companion of Gottlieb Daimler and designer of the first modern-day automobile, dies in Cannstatt at the age of 83.


80 years ago


8 - 14 February 1939:

Armed with two Mercedes-Benz 3-litre cars, Rudolf Caracciola breaks several Class D international records on a stretch of motorway near Dessau. First he drives a car with individually streamlined wheels – specially designed for standing starts – to 204.6 km/h over one mile on 8 February and 177.4 km/h over one kilometre on 14 February. On 9 February, driving the car with fully streamlined body, he reaches an average speed of 399.6 km/h for the one mile with flying start.


17 February - 5 March 1939:

The new 230 (W 153) model is presented at the International Automobile and Motorcycle Show in Berlin, an all-new chassis and state-of-the-art body variants setting it apart from the outgoing 2.3-litre car. The new model replaces the two-seater and four-seater variants of the W 143, while the six-seaters retain their place in the range.


8 April 1939:

At the Pau Grand Prix in France, the first outing for the 3-litre formula racing car revised and equipped for the 1939 season with the new M 163 engine, Mercedes-Benz posts a double victory with Hermann Lang and Manfred von Brauchitsch. Hermann Lang also wins the International Eifel Race on the Nürburgring on 21 May and the Belgian Grand Prix on 25 June.


26 April 1939:

Captain Fritz Wendel sets an absolute speed record of 755.138 km/h in a Messerschmitt Me 209 fighter plane (internal designation: Bf 109 R) powered by a Daimler-Benz 12-cylinder 601 Re V aeroengine. The record remains unbeaten for the next 30 years.


7 May 1939:

Hermann Lang and Rudolf Caracciola claim an impressive one-two victory in the Tripoli Grand Prix, the first and last race contested by the W 165 1.5-litre formula racing car. The motor sport department of Daimler-Benz had set up the new eight-cylinder racing car, which develops 254 hp / 187 kW from 1.5 litres displacement, specially for the race in Tripoli.


May 1939:

The share capital of Daimler-Benz AG is increased to 39.15 million Reichsmarks by issuing new common shares. The new shares are offered to the holders of the old common shares at a subscription ratio of 1 for 2 and a price of 112 %.


11 June 1939:

Hermann Lang wins the Vienna Höhenstrasse mountain road race in a Mercedes-Benz W 154 hillclimb car. On August 6 he also wins the German Mountain Grand Prix on the Grossglockner Pass in a W 125 hillclimb car to be crowned "Pan-German Hillclimb champion" of the 1939 season.


July 1939:

The Mannheim plant begins series production of the LGF 3000 3-tonne truck with all-terrain capability, which has been built since July 1938 in Untertürkheim. In Mannheim alone around 8200 units are produced by May 1941.


20 August 1939:

The Swiss Grand Prix at the Bremgarten circuit near Bern ends in a triple triumph for Mercedes-Benz: Hermann Lang wins, followed by Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch, ending the season as the most successful driver.


1 September 1939:

The order backlog at the outbreak of the war is twice that of the previous year, and with a volume of 600 million Reichsmarks exceeds the entire prior-year sales by half.


12 October 1939:

The Mercedes-Benz T 80 completes its first run on a chassis dynamometre. The three-axle record-breaking car, inspired by Hans Stuck in 1936 and designed by Ferdinand Porsche, is powered by a DB 603 V12 aeroengine. The Second World War prevents its development to operational readiness.


October 1939:

Car production ceases at the Mannheim plant. Production of the Mercedes-Benz 500 N is completely discontinued, while construction of the 320 model is concentrated in Untertürkheim. Production of passenger car bodies continues until June 1940; the Mannheim plant is thereafter assigned exclusively to building commercial vehicles.


75 years ago


5 May 1944:

Bertha Benz, the widow of Carl Benz and automotive pioneer owing to her legendary long-distance drive of 1888, dies in Ladenburg at the age of 95.


6 August 1944:

The Genshagen plant is the first Daimler-Benz plant to be so heavily damaged by air strikes that production can no longer take place there on any appreciable scale.


5 September 1944:

Heavy aerial bombardment of the Untertürkheim plant causes damage valued at 30.2 million Reichsmarks and cripples production. The Gaggenau plant suffers the same fate on 10 September, the Sindelfingen plant on 13 September.


70 years ago


January 1949:

The 170 V ambulance is succeeded by a version with a more contemporary and spacious body. The new model receives its body at the Lueg coachworks in Bochum, which simultaneously operates as a sales representation for Daimler-Benz AG.


February 1949:

For the first time since the end of the Second World War, Daimler-Benz achieves production figures of 1000 passenger cars per month.


March 1949:

Maschinenfabrik Gebr. Boehringer in Göppingen delivers the first series-produced Unimog vehicles. Under the model series designation 70200 a total of six hundred units are produced at the plant by 1951.


23 April 1949:

Karl Wilfert, head of body development at the Sindelfingen plant, files a patent application for a safety door lock.


13 May 1949:

Chairman of the Board of Management Dr Wilhelm Haspel hands over the last Ford repaired in Untertürkheim to the US Army. The "Ford Sedan Repair Line" was then transferred to the Esslingen repair facility for capacity reasons.


20 - 30 May 1949:

The 170 S and 170 D (W 136 series), the first Mercedes-Benz passenger car models to be developed since the end of the war, make their debuts at the Technical Export Fair in Hanover. Compared with the 170 V, the 170 S has a more spacious body and a standard-fit ventilation system that can be combined with a heater as an optional extra. It is also available as a Convertible B and highly luxurious Convertible A variant. The 170 D is based on the 170 V and is the first post-war diesel car. Further new products are the L 3250 truck and O 3250 bus, which herald a new era in commercial vehicle manufacture at Daimler-Benz.


10 June 1949:

The last L 701 rolls off the assembly line at the Mannheim plant. A total of 10,300 units of this licensed version of the Opel "Blitz” have been produced since June 1945.


15 June 1949:

The first production unit of the OM 312 engine is completed at the Mannheim factory. The 90 hp / 66 kW six-cylinder diesel is the first commercial vehicle engine developed after the war and the first version of the successful OM 300 engine family.


4 October 1949:

An import company for Daimler-Benz products is set up in Zurich, with Daimler-Benz AG as a shareholder.


1 November 1949:

The repair workshop in Esslingen completes its work for the US Army and is taken over by Daimler-Benz AG.


24 December 1949:

The finishing touches are put to the first Mercedes-Benz bus to come out of post-war production at the Mannheim plant. The vehicle – � � an O 3500 model – is the first bus produced in Mannheim after relocation of part of the Sindelfingen facility's bus production to Mannheim. Presented as an O 3250 in May, it is launched onto the market in January 1950 under the new designation, as is the truck it is based on.


31 December 1949:

After the relaxation of export restrictions for industry in Bizone and the French zone, export sales of Daimler-Benz AG reach DM 6.1 million or 1.8 % of total sales.


60 years ago


1 January 1959:

Introduction of the 44-hour week in all plants and branches.


8 January - 20 February 1959:

The 14,045 km Méditerranée-Le Cap rally from the Mediterranean to Cape Town, South Africa, finishes with a surprise overall victory for the Karl Kling/Rainer Günzler pairing in a Mercedes-Benz 190 D.


5 March 1959:

Daimler-Benz presents three truck models in the new semi-forward control vehicle design to the press in Stuttgart: in the medium-duty class the L 322 and the L 327 export model from Mannheim production, and the heavy-duty L 337 built in Gaggenau. This marks the beginning of a drive to phase out the traditional truck design. As with the outgoing models, a cab-over-engine variant is also available for each model.


27 - 31 March 1959:

Renewed success for Mercedes-Benz at the Coronation Safari in East Africa: the driver pairing of William A. Fritschy/John Ellis win the overall classification in a 219 model.


March 1959:

American journalist Bill Carroll demonstrates the economy of the Mercedes-Benz diesel passenger cars in a long journey from Seattle, Washington/USA, to Washington, D.C. Over the 5122 mile/8243 km distance his 190 D consumes only 5.7 litres of fuel per 100 km (41 miles per gallon). This is equal to an overall cost of only USD 32.27.


March 1959:

The first Mercedes-Benz passenger car assembled in Australia, a 220 S (W 180), rolls off the production line at the Melbourne plant of Mercedes-Benz Australia Pty. Ltd.


March 1959:

Daimler-Benz plans a share in the reorganisation of BMW AG, which is to retain its independence and the BMW brand. On 9 December these plans are thwarted at the BMW Shareholders' Meeting.


17 - 27 September 1959:

The facelifted four-cylinder cars 180 b/180 Db (W 120) and 190 b/190 Db (W 121) and the newly developed luxury models 220 b, 220 Sb and 220 SEb (W 111) celebrate their premiere at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main. The "b" in the model designation is only used internally and serves to distinguish the new models from the preceding ones. All new car models have interior appointments designed to avoid or reduce injuries in accidents. In the "fintail body" of the six-cylinder models, the safety cell with crumple zones originally conceived by Béla Barényi is featured for the first time in a series-produced passenger car. Also making its debut appearance is the Mercedes-Benz O 322 urban bus with rear-mounted engine and air suspension.


September 1959:

Daimler-Benz begins systematic crash testing in Sindelfingen. The tests are initially conducted outdoors.


31 December 1959:

Daimler-Benz AG acquires the remaining shares in Auto Union GmbH under the terms of a contractual arrangement concluded on 21 December.


31 December 1959:

The export sales of Daimler-Benz AG total DM 1027.5 million, exceeding the billion mark for the first time. Car deliveries to the USA increase by 5320 units to 12,968 vehicles.


50 years ago


1 January 1969:

Daimler-Benz extends its sales organisation in France by acquiring the majority of the shares of SOFIDEL S.A.


9 January 1969:

The 500,000th diesel engine for commercial vehicles from post-war production is produced at the Mannheim plant.


15 - 26 January 1969:

The coupé models 250 C and 250 CE (W 114) make their show debut at the Brussels Motor Show.


February 1969:

The Spanish company CISPALSA (Compañía Hispano Alemana de Productos Mercedes-Benz, S.A.), in which Daimler-Benz AG has a 50.5 % holding, is founded through an amalgamation of ENMASA in Barcelona and the Daimler-Benz general distributor IDASA based in Madrid.


March 1969:

Erich Waxenberger wins the Macao six-hour race in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3.


1 April 1969:

Hanomag-Henschel Fahrzeugwerke GmbH, in which Daimler-Benz has a 51 % stake, takes out a lease from Rheinstahl Hanomag AG and Rheinstahl Henschel AG on the plants in Bremen, Hamburg-Harburg and Kassel-Mittelfeld, which have a combined workforce of approximately 10,000.


July 1969:

Daimler-Benz and MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG) merge their high-performance diesel engine and turbocharged aircraft engine sectors and set up the MTU Group. Maybach Mercedes-Benz Motorenbau GmbH becomes MTU Motoren- und Turbinen-Union Friedrichshafen GmbH and MAN-Turbo GmbH evolves into MTU Motoren-und Turbinen-Union München GmbH. The MTU Munich shares are split equally between Daimler-Benz and MAN. MTU Munich has an 84 % stake in MTU Friedrichshafen, whilst 16 % of the company remains in private hands.


6 August 1969:

The 250,000th Mercedes-Benz passenger car with petrol injection engine leaves the production line at the plant in Sindelfingen. The landmark vehicle is a 280 SE from the W 108 series.


1 September 1969:

In Bremen the first Hanomag-Henschel light van comes off the assembly line after the plant took over the production of panel vans and crewbuses of this series from Hamburg-Harburg.


11 - 21 September 1969:

The International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main is the venue for the debut of the Mercedes-Benz C 111 experimental car, which is fitted with a 280 hp / 206 kW three-rotor Wankel engine and a plastic body. Other new arrivals include the passenger car models 300 SEL 3.5 (W 109) and the 280 SE 3.5 Coupé and Convertible (W 111), all powered by a 3.5-litre M 116 V8 engine developing 200 hp / 147 kW. The electrically-driven OE 302 test bus also celebrates its premiere. The electric motor is fed by a battery charged by a diesel generator set – an early example of hybrid drive technology. Daimler-Benz presents the first automatic transmission for commercial vehicles at the show: the W 3 D 080 three-speed automatic transmission with torque converter, offered as special equipment for urban buses. The new long-haul trucks LP 1632 and LP 2032 introduce the hydraulically tilting cab to the truck range. They are powered by the entirely new V10 diesel engine OM 403. The 320 hp / 235 kW direct injection unit is the first model of the new OM 400 V-engine family. The Unimog range gets a new 100 hp / 74 kW flagship model in the form of the U 100 road tractor from the 416 series.


September 1969:

In addition to the new Mercedes-Benz car models with the 3.5-litre engine a further body variant of the mid-range series W 114/W 115 is released for sale: the four-door extended saloon with longer wheelbase, designed as a 7/8-seater and first offered in the model variants 220 D and 230.


27 November 1969:

Mietanlagen Industrievertriebs-GmbH is set up as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler-Benz AG and takes over the entire leasing business for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.


November 1969:

On the initiative of Prof. Hans Scherenberg, the Board of Management member responsible for development, Daimler-Benz sets up the "Central Research" department in Untertürkheim. Prof. Hans-Joachim Förster is charged with building it. The unit's aim is to gather knowledge about new technologies and on that basis develop concepts for the future.


40 years ago


5 - 10 February 1979:

In Toulon, France, the Mercedes-Benz 460-series cross-country vehicle developed in cooperation with Steyr-Daimler-Puch is unveiled to the press. Produced in Graz, Austria, the range includes four models, which can be ordered with two different wheelbase lengths and five different body variants. The model line-up ranges from the 240 GD, 300 GD and 230 G up to the 280 GE, with output rising from 53 kW / 72 hp to 110 kW / 150 hp.


6 February 1979:

The Gaggenau plant produces its first torque converter for automatic transmissions for passenger cars. It had taken over production from the Untertürkheim sub-plant Hedelfingen.


21 March 1979:

The Supervisory Board of Daimler-Benz AG confirms the plans of the Board of Management to transfer van production from Bremen to Düsseldorf and to build the 201-series compact class car models also in Bremen.


April 1979:

The 10,000th MB-trac is completed at the Gaggenau plant.


5 May 1979:

Test engineer Dr Hans Liebold drives a C 111-IV to a new speed record of 403.978 km/h on the Nardò circuit in Italy. He also sets new records for 10 km, 100 km, 10 miles and 100 miles. The record-breaking car is powered by a 368 kW / 500 hp, 4.8-litre V8 engine based on the 4.5-litre production engine. It is also fitted with twin exhaust gas turbochargers.


8 May 1979:

As part of a five-year testing programme, the first four of a total of 13 Mercedes-Benz OE 305 hybrid electric buses with combined diesel-battery drive system are put into regular service in Stuttgart. A further seven vehicles follow suit in September in the town of Wesel.


1 June 1979:

Five Mercedes-Benz duo buses based on the O 305 begin a testing programme in regular service in the town of Esslingen. Two of these test vehicles are designed for combined battery/overhead-cable use, the three others – including an articulated pusher bus based on the O 305 G – for diesel/overhead-cable operation.


8 June - 1 July 1979:

Daimler-Benz gives a practical demonstration of the O-Bahn concept at the International Traffic and Transport Exhibition in Hamburg. This flexible system combines the benefits of rail and bus transport and involves automatically guided rail buses moving on their own guideway. Also presented is the S 80, a prototype of a regular service urban bus for the 1980s, designed to provide even more comfortable and convenient transportation for passengers. The knowledge gained through the S 80 project is channeled into development of the O 405, unveiled in the fall of 1983 as a second-generation standard regular service bus.


8 July 1979:

Three apprentice teams from Untertürkheim and Sindelfingen take the first three places in the "Kilometre Marathon" at the Hockenheim circuit driving "economobiles" they have built themselves. The Untertürkheim driver Frank Maier improves the fuel consumption world record, set in 1977, to 970 km per litre.


July 1979:

In Sindelfingen the one-millionth passenger car of the mid-range 123 series is completed.


13 - 23 September 1979:

The new Mercedes-Benz 280 S, 280 SE, 280 SEL, 380 SE, 380 SEL, 500 SE and 500 SEL 126-series S-Class models are unveiled at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main. A key innovation are the V8 engines from the M 116 and M 117 series, which now feature a light-alloy block. Another newcomer is the 300 TD Turbodiesel (123 series), the first series-produced diesel passenger car on the German market to be fitted with a turbocharger. Daimler-Benz also presents an updated heavy-duty truck range, the most important new elements of which are the OM 422 V8 engine, available in four variants developing up to 276 kW / 375 hp, and a particularly comfortable extra-large driver's cab. Series production of the "New Generation 80" starts in autumn 1980. Another new product is the redesigned generation of the O 303 coach series, presented with an undivided windshield, and the new O 303 RHS and O 303 RHD luxury touring coaches.


6/7 October 1979:

In the International Fuel Economy Competition in the Swiss town of Veltheim, Untertürkheim apprentice Frank Maier sets a new world record equivalent to 1284.13 km per litre diesel.


28 November 1979:

In Berlin, Daimler-Benz AG gives an insight into its activities in the field of alcohol-based fuels. A fleet of 80 Mercedes-Benz test vehicles are among those involved in a large-scale testing programme taking place as part of the "Alternative Drive Systems" project supported by the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology in Germany. A series of 208 van models powered by M 15 (85 % premium petrol, 15 % methanol) begins testing before autumn is out. Test passenger cars equipped for operation with pure methanol or pure ethanol go into service the following year.


November 1979:

The 10,000th W 3D 080 automatic transmission for commercial vehicles is produced at the Rastatt sub-plant of the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant.


6 December 1979:

Mercedes-Leasing-GmbH is created by renaming Mietanlagen Industrievertriebs-GmbH, with the result that its main field of activity finds expression also in the company name.


9 - 14 December 1979:

The Daimler-Benz driver teams of Hannu Mikkola/Arne Hertz, Björn Waldegaard/Hans Thorszelius, Andrew Cowan/Rolf Kaiser and Vic Preston Jr./Mike Doughty – all at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC 5.0 – take the first four places in the Bandama Rally, Côte d'Ivoire.


31 December 1979:

Prof. Joachim Zahn retires after 21 years at the company, 14 of them as Chairman of the Board of Management. On 2 July 1980 he is appointed to the Supervisory Board of Daimler-Benz AG.


December 1979:

Series production of the new 126-series S-Class begins at the Sindelfingen plant, involving a newly introduced part-automation of the assembly lines. Rotating overhead conveyors swivel the vehicles onto their side, thereby largely removing the need for overhead work.


30 years ago


10 January 1989:

A sculpture by Bernhard Heiliger entitled "Day and Night" is unveiled at the Untertürkheim plant in memory of the people who endured forced labour at Daimler-Benz under the National Socialist regime.


12 - 22 January 1989:

The updated range of T 1 vans makes its debut at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in Brussels, complete with new, more environment-friendly diesel units from the OM 600 engine family and improved aerodynamics.


February 1989:

As part of the "Diesel '89" initiative, Mercedes-Benz equips all diesel cars with revised engines that cut particulate emissions by 40 % owing to improvements to the combustion process. With that the improved diesel models meet the stringent particulate limits applicable in the USA even without a particulate trap and operate almost entirely smoke-free. This advance is made possible by a redesigned pre-chamber featuring oblique injection, which ensures more efficient combustion.


9 - 19 March 1989:

The new R 129 Roadster series, featuring the 300 SL, 300 SL-24 and 500 SL models, celebrates its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The most important innovations are the electro-hydraulically operated top, the roll-over bar that extends automatically if the car threatens to overturn, and the integral seat. The new SL models are the first Mercedes-Benz production cars equipped with four-valve six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines. The 300 SL-24 has the 162 kW / 220 hp 3-liter in-line six-cylinder M 104 unit, and the 500 SL has the 5-litreV8 M 119 with 240 kW / 326 hp. The sporty 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution (201 series) is also premiered. To homologate the Group A racing touring car it will be produced in a 500-unit limited edition and made available from the end of March.


March 1989:

With the start of production of the new R 129-series SL model at the Bremen plant, Mercedes-Benz begins switching all passenger car production to a particularly environment-friendly painting process which largely avoids volatile solvents by using water-based paints.


1 April 1989:

A further reduction in the working week comes into force, this time to 37 hours.


5 - 12 April 1989:

Mercedes-Benz presents the new generation of medium-duty trucks at the Hanover Trade Fair. The new MK trucks, offered as platform trucks, semitrailer tractors and construction site vehicles, feature the up-to-date cabs of the SK heavy-duty models introduced a year earlier. The power plant is the 160 kW / 218 hp OM 441 V6 engine.


9 April 1989:

In the first race of the Sports Car World Championship in Suzuka, Japan, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9 cars compete with a new engine and silver-coloured body. The further developed Mercedes-Benz M 119 V8 engine now features four-valves-per-cylinder technology and an even higher performance potential. Mauro Baldi/Jean-Louis Schlesser and Kenny Acheson drive the new Silver Arrows to a one-two win in the car's very first competitive outing.


10 - 16 April 1989:

The Unimog models U 2100 and U 2150 (437 series) debut at the BAUMA trade fair in Munich. With an output of 157 kW / 214 hp they venture into a new performance dimension.


24 April 1989:

The Corporate Works Council of the Daimler-Benz Group assembles at the Haus Lämmerbuckel training centre. Herbert Lucy, who is simultaneously Chairman of the Central Works Council of Daimler-Benz AG, is elected the body's first Chairman.


19 May 1989:

Deutsche Aerospace AG (Dasa) is established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daimler-Benz Group as a result of the merger of Dornier GmbH, MTU Motoren- und Turbinen-Union München/Friedrichshafen and of two divisions of AEG AG. The new company's Chairman of the Board of Management is Jürgen E. Schrempp.


20 - 21 May 1989:

On the third racing weekend of the truck racing season at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Thomas Hegmann wins the second run of Class C in the new Mercedes-Benz 1450 S racing truck, used in competition since the start of the season, to take his first race of the season.


1 June 1989:

"Mercedes-Benz Portugal - Comércio de Automóveis, S.A." is established in Abrunheira and takes control of sales activities in Portugal.


5 - 9 June 1989:

Mercedes-Benz presents its LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) concept for the further reduction of exhaust gas and noise emissions to 300 politicans, representatives of government agencies and associations and representatives of the media at the "Commercial Vehicles and the Environment" workshop. Apart from vehicle-borne engine encapsulation, the presented technologies include the particulate filter with catalytic regeneration, which initially is offered as special equipment on urban buses.


10 - 11 June 1989:

37 years after the first - and to date only - victory for Daimler-Benz at Le Mans, the new generation of Silver Arrows, the Sauber-Mercedes C 9, take the top two places in the legendary 24-hour race. At the wheel of the successful Silver Arrows: Jochen Mass/Stanley Dickens/Manuel Reuter and Mauro Baldi/Kenny Acheson/Gianfranco Brancatelli.


29 June 1989:

Mercedes-Benz AG is established as part of the restructuring of the Daimler-Benz Group. Prof. Werner Niefer is made Chairman of the Board of Management. Under the umbrella of Daimler-Benz AG as the holding company, Mercedes-Benz AG, AEG AG and Deutsche Aerospace AG function as independent companies.


1 July 1989:

Telefunken Systemtechnik GmbH is formed out of the previous AEG business units High Frequency Systems (Ulm) and Marine and Special Systems (Hamburg), and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Aerospace AG.


15 - 16 July 1989:

At the truck-racing weekend at the Nürburgring, Thomas Hegmann, driving a Mercedes-Benz 1450 S, wins both Class C runs to take leadership in the drivers' competition.


4 August 1989:

More than 18 years after the start of series production, the 237,287th and last R 107-series Mercedes-Benz SL rolls off the assembly line at the Sindelfingen plant. The landmark vehicle is a signal-red 500 SL, which is transferred to the collection of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.


1 September 1989:

Mercedes-Benz introduces a "touring guarantee", which offers drivers of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and cross-country vehicles Europe-wide breakdown assistance over four years.


11 September 1989:

The five-millionth commercial vehicle axle comes off the assembly line at Mercedes-Benz's Kassel plant.


14 - 24 September 1989:

The updated Mercedes-Benz 124 series is presented at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main, offering stylistic modifications and an enhanced range of standard equipment. The new top-of-the-range models are the 300 E-24, 300 CE-24 and 300 TE-24, powered by the 162 kW / 220 hp M 104 four-valve engine. Meanwhile, the six-door 250 D and 260 E long-wheelbase saloons add further variants to the mid-range model series. Also celebrating premieres are the fundamentally revised Mercedes-Benz cross-country vehicles from the new 463 series, as well as the O 405 N low-floor regular service urban bus and O 408 rural service bus.


16 - 17 September 1989:

On the penultimate weekend of the truck racing season at the Nürburgring, the first run in Class C ends in a quadruple victory, the second run in double victory for Mercedes-Benz. Thomas Hegmann in a Mercedes-Benz 1450 S takes second place in the first run and wins the second run to capture the driver's title in Class C; Mercedes-Benz finishes by securing the brand classification by a comfortable margin.


12 October 1989:

The one-millionth Mercedes-Benz passenger car built at the Bremen plant – a 250 TD – rolls off the assembly line.


29 October 1989:

At the final race of the Sports Car World Championship in Mexico City, the driver pairing Jean-Louis Schlesser/Jochen Mass captures its fourth win of the season, which is the eighth win of the 1989 season for Sauber-Mercedes. Jean-Louis Schlesser wins the drivers' competition; runner-up is Jochen Mass. The constructors' title goes to Sauber-Mercedes by a large margin.


17 November 1989:

The Annual Shareholders' Meeting and Supervisory Board of Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm AG (MBB) agree to Daimler-Benz taking a majority interest. MBB becomes a subsidiary of Deutsche Aerospace AG.


20 November 1989:

Karl Feuerstein, Works Council Chairman in Mannheim, becomes new Chairman of the Central Works Council of Daimler-Benz AG. Herbert Lucy, who held this office since 1973, goes into early retirement for health reasons.


8 December 1989:

Deutsche Airbus GmbH is formed with headquarters in Hamburg. It encompasses the former MBB Group "Cargo Aircraft and Airliners" and the former Deutsche Airbus GmbH (Munich).


25 years ago


10/11 January 1994:

At the Mannheim plant, Mercedes-Benz presents to the press a new range of low-pollution commercial vehicle engines which meet the EURO 2 emission standard applicable from autumn 1996. The turbocharged and intercooled in-line engines OM 364 LA and OM 366 LA meet the EURO 2 standard thanks to a new injection pump, new injection nozzles and an improved turbocharger. The V-engines OM 441 LA and OM 442 LA and the OM 457h LA in-line six-cylinder additionally feature EDC (Electronic Diesel Control).


13 January 1994:

Mercedes-Benz Omnibuses Mexico S.A., a joint venture of Mercedes-Benz Mexico and the Brazilian body builder CAIO, officially opens its new bus plant in Monterrey, in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. The plant produces Mercedes-Benz urban and rural regular service buses based on the OF 1318 chassis.


21 - 23 & 28 - 30 January 1994:

Offering a particularly attractive price-performance ratio, the "Advantage” version of the O 404 touring coach makes its debut at the Mercedes-Benz Bus Days in Frankfurt am Main. Also premiered are the low-floor O 405 NÜ rural service bus and the O 405 GNG articulated bus, Europe's first natural-gas low-floor urban bus. Series production of the new model, which is also available as an O 405 NG solo vehicle and O 405 NÜG rural-service bus, gets underway in the summer. In July, the first vehicles are put into regular service operation in Hanover.


10 - 19 February 1994:

Mercedes-Benz presents its new low-pollution EURO 2 commercial vehicle engines to the public at the BedrijfsautoRAI commercial vehicle show in Amsterdam. Another new product is the heavy-duty semitrailer tractor 1938 LS with revised design and equipment. It gives a foretaste of the updated generation of MK and SK medium and heavy-duty trucks introduced in May.


22 February 1994:

The Board of Management of Daimler-Benz AG takes the decision to build the innovative urban Micro Compact Car (MCC) in cooperation with Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Mikroelektronik und Uhrenindustrie AG (SMH.


4 March 1994:

In the Eco-Sprinter and Eco-Speedster, Mercedes-Benz presents to the press two near-series studies of the Micro Compact Car that will come on the market four years later under the name smart. Mercedes also outlines the use of alternative drive systems, including an electrically powered version with sodium-nickel chloride battery and a hybrid variant with a combination of diesel engine and electric motor.


10 - 20 March 1994:

The stylistically and technically refined 140-series S-Class saloons are presented at the Geneva Motor Show. The S 420 Coupé also celebrates its world premiere, adding a third model to the range of S-Class coupés. Two debuts are made in the E-Class (124 series): the E 200 Convertible and the highly exclusive 500-unit special edition E 500 Limited model.


15 March 1994:

Mercedes-Benz presents the new dynamic handling control system in the Swedish town of Arjeplog. Developed in cooperation with Bosch, it celebrates its market launch a year later as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and represents a further milestone in the development of active safety features for cars.


15 March 1994:

The "Funmog", an all-terrain SUV study based on the Unimog U 90 (408 series), is presented at the International Off-Road Show in Cologne and voted "Off-roader of the Year 1994".


22 March 1994:

Mercedes-Benz presents the "Paintwork 2000" project to the press at the Sindelfingen plant. Its purpose is to gradually switch the Bremen, Sindelfingen and Rastatt passenger car assembly plants to environment-friendly water-based paints by 1998. Apart from emissions reduction, the emphasis is on reducing pollutive residues and wastewater.


27 March 1994:

The Sauber-Mercedes C 13 takes the start for the first time at the Formula One race in Interlagos, Brazil. It marks Mercedes-Benz's return to Formula One racing after 40 years, as supplier of engines to the Sauber Team. The 3.5-litre V10 four-valve engine weighs only 122.6 kg and develops over 515 kW / 700 hp.


2/3 April 1994:

At the first race of the truck racing season at Brands Hatch, UK, Steve Parrish, driving the new Mercedes-Benz 1834 S racing truck, wins both Super Race Truck runs. The three-time European champion in Class C is also successful from the outset under the new rules.


13 April 1994:

At its Research Centre in Ulm, Daimler-Benz presents a fuel cell powered vehicle based on the MB 100 and christened NECAR (New Electric Car). The only exhaust gases emitted by this new model – developed in close cooperation with the Canadian firm Ballard Power Systems based in Vancouver – are fresh air and water vapour.


22 April 1994:

In Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Helmut Werner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, and Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. (TELCO) headquartered in Bombay, sign an agreement on a joint venture in which Mercedes-Benz AG holds a 51 % share. The purpose of the company is to produce E-Class passenger cars and Mercedes-Benz engines in Pune, India. Mercedes-Benz India, Ltd. is founded on 22 November.


22 April 1994:

In the presence of Board of Management Chairman Helmut Werner and Dr Ferdinand Piech, a supply and licence agreement between Mercedes-Benz AG and Volkswagen AG is signed in Stuttgart. It enables Volkswagen to derive the successor to its LT van from the new Mercedes-Benz van series. Mercedes-Benz will supply steering units, transmissions and axles worth around DM 250 million annually.


22 April - 1 May 1994:

The SLK study celebrates its world premiere at the Turin Motor Show. The purist roadster is a milestone in the development of the compact, sporty two-seater that comes onto the market as the SLK in 1996.


27 April 1994:

Micro Compact Car AG (MCC AG) is founded in Biel, Switzerland, as a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz AG and Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Mikroelektronik und Uhrenindustrie (SMH).


6 May 1994:

The Eurotunnel beneath the English Channel is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II and President François Mitterand of France. Passenger safety and maintenance of the two railway tunnels is enabled by a two-lane service tunnel, which can be accessed by vehicles of the Service Tunnel Transportation System (STTS). These special vehicles, developed by Mercedes-Benz and AEG and with bodies supplied by NAW are track-guided and travel at speeds up to 80 km/h along the 4.8-metre-wide tubes. Thanks to their interchangeable modular bodies, they can be used as rescue and fire service vehicles as well as for maintenance and inspection duties.


29 May 1994:

The Penske Team lines up for the start of the Indianapolis 500 race in Indiana/USA with a 3.4-litre turbocharged V8 engine supplied by Mercedes-Benz. After 200 laps the Penske-Mercedes of Al Unser jr. crosses the line in first place.


30 May 1994:

The documentation "Forced Labour at Daimler-Benz", prepared by the Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte (a scientific institution that promotes research into corporate history), is presented in Stuttgart.


May 1994:

The Mercedes-Benz MK and SK medium and heavy-duty trucks series are introduced in updated versions with improved equipment and modified looks. All models will be made available step by step with Euro 2 engines as an optional extra. The revised series also are offered as low-frame platform chassis and as semitrailer tractors with low fifth wheel. These Low- and Midi-Liners permit a higher loading height and thus a larger transport capacity.


May 1994:

Setra presents the S 250 Special touring coach to the press in Ulm as a particularly low-cost and economic variant.


1 June 1994:

Mercedes-Benz Sverige AB is established in Stockholm following the acquisition of the previous general distributor Philipsons Bil AB.


3 June 1994:

In Jakarta, Indonesia, Mercedes-Benz presents the new MB 700 truck to the press, series production of which has begun at the Indonesian affiliate P.T. German Motor Manufacturing in Jakarta. The light truck with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 7.5 t features a well-developed capacity for handling rough roads and is destined for the Asian market.


29 July 1994:

Mercedes-Benz AG announces its intention to take over the bus and coach manufacturer Karl Kässbohrer GmbH with effect from 1 January 1995.


1 August 1994:

A front passenger airbag and head restraints for the rear are fitted as standard in all Mercedes-Benz passenger car models.


24 August 1994:

In Hanover the Chairmen of the Boards of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG and Volkswagen AG, Helmut Werner and Dr Ferdinand Piech, sign an agreement on the supply of engines and automatic transmissions, calling for Mercedes-Benz AG to procure a six-cylinder petrol engine with automatic transmission from Volkswagen. Adapted to the requirements of Mercedes-Benz, the unit is intended for use solely in Mercedes-Benz's future multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).


3 - 11 September 1994:

At the International Commercial Vehicle Show, in Hanover Mercedes-Benz presents the O 350 touring coach produced by Daimler-Benz's Turkish subsidiary and the prototype of the O 405 GNTD, a low-floor duo bus with diesel engine and electric hub drive. The compact hub drive permits enlarging the low-floor section and realising stepless entry and exit in the rear section of the new articulated bus. Moreover, it enables driving two axles, the rear axle and a middle axle. The electric power is supplied by a rear-mounted diesel engine coupled to a generator or via overhead cables. Also having its premiere is the prototype of the Mercedes-Benz 1117 with hybrid drive in which the 125 kW / 170 hp diesel is combined with a 46 kW / 63 hp electric motor. The electric motor is fed by lead-gel batteries which weigh a total of 2000 kg and are fitted underfloor between the front and rear wheels. Already on sale in the regular delivery range are the electric vans 308 E and MB 100 E, available in all the versions in which conventional Mercedes-Benz vans are available. In Hanover the MB 100 E is displayed as a pickup and the 308 E as a tipper. In the crewbus and minibus versions the MB 100 E also sees use as a press taxi at the commercial vehicle show. Setra presents a new combined service bus series with models S 315 H and S 315 GT and the rural service version S 315 UL.


16 September 1994:

Béla Barényi, the architect-in-chief of passive safety in automobiles and from 1939 to 1972 a designer in the passenger car development department at Daimler-Benz, is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit, Michigan/USA, in recognition of his ground-breaking work in the development of vehicle safety.


19 September 1994:

In Stuttgart the purchase contract is signed on the takeover of the bus and coach manufacturer Karl Kässbohrer GmbH by Mercedes-Benz AG.


22 September 1994:

Mercedes-Benz AG and Chinese bus manufacturer Yangzhou Motor Coach Manufacturer (YMC) sign a letter of intent in Stuttgart to form a joint venture to produce buses and bus chassis in China.


26 September 1994:

The first cut of the spade signals the start of construction work for a new Development and Preparation Centre in Sindelfingen. The building complex is the work of renowned architect Renzo Piano and will accommodate the Design and Passenger Car Development departments after its completion.


28 September 1994:

Mercedes-Benz AG and future joint venture Mahle-Wizemann-Pleuco (MWP) announce their intention to form a company which will develop, produce and market valve train systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Mercedes-Benz will bring the Bad Homburg plant into the new company.


1/2 October 1994:

At truck racing's season finale, which traditionally takes place in Jarama, Spain, Slim Borgudd in a Mercedes-Benz 1834 S wins both Super Race Truck runs. With second and fourth-place finishes, Steve Parrish captures his fourth European championship – the first in the Super Race Truck category under the new rules. Slim Borgudd is runner-up, and the manufacturers' crown again goes to Mercedes-Benz.


6 - 16 October 1994:

Mercedes-Benz presents a further developed version of the near-series SLK roadster study, now featuring a vario roof, at the Paris Motor Show. The innovative folding roof disappears into the boot within 25 seconds at the push of a button, leaving enough space there for luggage.


9 October 1994:

In the final race of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) season, which traditionally takes place on Hockenheimring, Kurt Thiim wins the first run and Bernd Schneider the second, both in an AMG-Mercedes C-Class car. Two years after claiming his maiden DTM title, Klaus Ludwig wins the German Touring Car Championship for the second time in a Mercedes Benz. Runner-up is Jörg van Ommen, also in a Mercedes-Benz.


10 October 1994:

The 10,000th Mercedes-Benz E 500 is delivered to a customer at the plant where it is assembled in Zuffenhausen. The fortunate customer is ex-racing driver Hans Herrmann.


28 October 1994:

Mercedes-Benz presents its new concept for Formula One. The brand’s new partner is Team McLaren International, whom Mercedes-Benz supplies with the new 3-litre V10 engine co-developed with British manufacturer Ilmor.


October 1994:

AEG Daimler-Benz Industrie and South Africa's Anglo American Corporation form a fifty-fifty joint venture. This company is the world's first manufacturer to make ZEBRA high-energy batteries in large numbers on a pilot line.


14 - 19 November 1994:

At the Family Car exhibition in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz presents the "Family Car China" (FCC), a compact family car design created specifically for the Chinese market.


22 November 1994:

Mercedes-Benz India Ltd., in which Tata Engineering & Locomotive Comp., Ltd. holds a 49 % share, is founded in Pune, India.


8 December 1994:

Mercedes-Benz is the first German automobile manufacturer to set up its own Russian sales organisation in Moscow under the name Mercedes-Benz Avtomobili (AOST).


20 December 1994:

The Daimler-Benz AG Board of Management chooses Hambach-Saargemünd in Lorraine, France, as the production location for the Micro Compact Car, which is to be launched as the smart in 1998.


20 years ago


1 January 1999:

Mercedes-AMG GmbH in Affalterbach, in which DaimlerChrysler initially holds a 51 % interest, commences business operations.


9 - 18 January 1999:

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan/USA, Mercedes-Benz presents the Vision SLR, a study of a GT sports car for the 21st century. The Study AMG is presented as the future flagship model of the M-Class .


16 - 24 January 1999:

At the Brussels International Commercial Vehicle Show the Vito van range (638 series) is presented in revised form with CDI diesel engines and a newly developed five-speed transmission. The Mercedes-Benz Atego wins the "International Truck of the Year 1999" award.


20 January 1999:

DaimlerChrysler and ABB announce their decision to integrate the joint venture Adtranz into the business portfolio of DaimlerChrysler. To this end DaimlerChrysler takes over the 50 % share previously held by ABB.


26 February 1999:

The Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center (CAC) in Maastricht is presented with the Cat Award for the most innovative company in the call centre sector.


1 March 1999:

The 100,000th M-Class is completed at the production plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama/USA. On 9 March the successful Mercedes-Benz model series is presented with the coveted "World Car Award" at the Geneva Motor Show, recognising it as the vehicle best equipped to deal with driving conditions on all five inhabited continents of the Earth.


3 March 1999:

The wholly-owned Daimler-Benz subsidiary Freightliner Corp. and the British Mayflower Corp. sign a letter of intent to set up a joint venture. It will bring together the Freightliner subsidiary Thomas Built Buses and Mayflower subsidiaries Walter Alexander and Dennis Bus and Coach with a view to manufacturing low-floor buses of lightweight design for local public transportation and selling them throughout North America.


10 March 1999:

Erich Klemm, Works Council Chairman at the Sindelfingen plant, is elected Chairman of the Central Works Council following the resignation of Karl Feuerstein from his Works Council office on health grounds.


12 - 21 March 1999:

The Geneva Motor Show hosts the world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz CL Coupé from the C 215 series. It is the world's first production car to be equipped with the active suspension system Active Body Control (ABC). The top-of-the-range CL 600 debuts with the 270 kW / 367 hp 5.8-litre power plant from the new V12 M 137 series, which features three-valve technology, dual ignition and automatic cylinder shutoff (CSO). In the CLK 55 AMG, Mercedes-AMG presents an especially powerful variant of the CLK Coupé (208 series). Also having their first showing are the facelifted V-Class (638 series) and the armoured special-protection version of the S-Class. The special-protection variants of the E-Class, S-Class and G-Class bear the new designation Mercedes-Benz Guard. Micro Compact Car smart GmbH presents the diesel variant of the smart City Coupé, scheduled for launch at the end of the year.


17 March 1999:

The A-Class-based fuel cell powered NECAR 4, which establishes a new milestone for alternative drive systems, debuts in Washington, D.C. The fuel cell system, which operates on liquefied hydrogen and has a 40 % higher capacity compared with its NECAR 3 predecessor, is completely accomodated in the underfloor of the A-Class. The vehicle attains a top speed of 145 km/h, can travel up to 450 kilometres on one tank and has space for five passengers and their luggage.


25 - 27 March 1999:

A range of new Business Class Freightliner truck models is presented at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky/USA, fitted with Mercedes-Benz engines for the first time. The OM 906 LA six-cylinder in-line engines have a 6.4-litre displacement and develop output of up to 205 kW / 279 hp.


25 March 1999:

The debitel share is listed for the first time on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The emission volume comes to about € 700 million. With a capitalisation of approximately DM 6 billion, debitel is one of the biggest German IPO's of recent years. The IPO results in the widespread scattering of around 20 % of the share capital of debitel AG.


March 1999:

The luxuriously equipped G 500 Classic special-edition model is unveiled to mark the 20th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


23 April 1999:

DaimlerChrysler opens Latin America's first Mercedes-Benz passenger car production and assembly plant in Juiz de Fora in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The new facility, built on the back of investment totaling € 760 million, will accommodate production of the A-Class for the South American market.


29 April 1999:

At the Ludwigsfelde plant a ground-breaking ceremony is held for a new bodyshell building, where a compact van based on the A-Class will be built starting in autumn 2001.


April 1999:

Mercedes-AMG GmbH presents a whole series of new sporty high-performance models. The most powerful SL to date is the SL 73 AMG, equipped with a 386 kW / 525 hp 7.3-litre V12 engine from the M 120 series; the S 55 AMG, SL 55 AMG and G 55 AMG models have a 5.5-litre V8 unit from the M 113 series that develops up to 265 kW / 360 hp.


26 May 1999:

The Steyr-Daimler-Puch plant in Graz, Austria, where the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is already being built, starts production of the M-Class. The successful off-roader from Mercedes-Benz will thus also be produced at a European site two years after production started in Tuscaloosa, Alabama/USA.


May 1999:

DaimlerChrysler subsidiary EvoBus GmbH begins series production of the Mercedes-Benz Cito midibus at the Mannheim plant.


11 June 1999:

DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa) and Spain's Construcciones Aeronáuticas S.A. (CASA) give notice of their intention to merge the two companies.


11 June 1999:

DaimlerChrysler and Magna announce that DaimlerChrysler will acquire the shares in Eurostar Automobilwerk GmbH & Co. KG based in Graz, Austria, from Steyr-Daimler-Puch Fahrzeugtechnik (SFT), as of March 1998 a majority holding of Magna International Inc. Established as a joint venture between the Chrysler Corporation and SFT, the Eurostar plant produces the Chrysler Voyager MPV from October 1991.


June 1999:

Mercedes-Benz launches the A 190 to add a new 92 kW / 125 hp top-of-the-range model to the A-Class.


June 1999:

The new Mercedes-Benz Travego touring coach, which succeeds the O 404 series, is presented to the press at the debis headquarters in Berlin.


19 - 21 July 1999:

At the Commercial Vehicle Technology Days in Papenburg, DaimlerChrysler presents the current position of its research and development work into future technologies and concepts for the commercial vehicle, which include the Lane Assistant, proximity control, and a lightweight tractor. The presented vehicles with alternative drive systems include a Vario 814 D with hybrid drive, which features a 55 kW / 75 hp electric motor in addition to its 100 kW / 136 hp diesel engine. The lead batteries weighing 1.2 tonnes permit a range of 35 km in purely electric urban driving.


July 1999:

The saloons and estates of the 210-series E-Class are presented in facelifted versions with optimised design features, technology and equipment, available from Mercedes-Benz’s company-owned sales and service outlets and sales partners. The E 270 CDI and E 320 CDI complete conversion of the diesel model range to the innovative CDI technology, and the E 430 4MATIC is the first V8 model to feature intelligent all-wheel drive.


26 August - 10 September 1999:

The Mercedes-Benz O 560 Intouro makes its debut at the Izmir Trade Fair as the new interurban bus for combined-service transport. Built at Mercedes-Benz Türk, the combined-service bus was principally developed for the Turkish and Eastern European markets.


27 August 1999:

DaimlerChrysler and Westfalia Werke GmbH & Co. in Rheda-Wiedenbrück agree on a 49 % stake of DaimlerChrysler in Westfalia Van Conversion GmbH, the vehicle finishing operation of Westfalia.


August 1999:

The facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLK Coupé and Convertible models (208 series) of 2000 are unveiled with a more extensive package of standard equipment. In addition, the updated range includes two new models – the CLK 430 Convertible and CLK 55 AMG Coupé models. All CLK-Class, C-Class (202 series) and SL-Class (R 129 series) variants now come with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as standard.


1 September 1999:

DaimlerChrysler Business TV is launched. The DaimlerChrysler TV (DCTV) channel for the Group's employees is the world's first and only in-house TV station to broadcast daily and up-to-date information bulletins around the world and in seven languages. DCTV can be viewed by 420,000 employees in 36 countries on five continents.


1 September 1999:

After some four years of development work, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin-Marienfelde begins production of the CDI diesel engine for the smart. The 0.8-litre three-cylinder OM 660 unit is the world's smallest diesel engine fitted in a passenger car.


16 - 26 September 1999:

Mercedes-Benz presents the new roadster variant of the Vision SLR sports car study at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The V12 S 600 and the S 320 CDI and S 400 CDI diesel models are added to the S-Class range (220 series). Equipped with the 4-litre V8 OM 628 engine, the S 400 CDI is the first production passenger car to feature an eight-cylinder diesel engine, and with output of 184 kW / 250 hp it is the world’s most powerful diesel car. The diesel-powered ML 270 CDI and sporty ML 55 AMG join the M-Class range (W 163). On the basis of the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz presents a new hybrid vehicle which combines a 132 kW / 180 hp V6 petrol engine with an 80 kW electric motor. The smart brand presents a two-seater roadster study as well as the smart Convertible with innovative soft-top technology.


1 October 1999:

Mercedes-Benz ATC GmbH (End-of-life Vehicle and Parts Center), is the first brand-owned automotive recycling company to introduce a twelve-month warranty on used parts.


2/3 October 1999:

On the last weekend of the truck racing season in Jarama, Spain, Heinz-Werner Lenz in a Mercedes-Benz 1838 S wins the second run of the Race Trucks to make himself European champion in the Race Truck class for the third straight year. In the Super Race Truck category, last year's champion Ludovic Faure only manages a sixth-place finish overall in his Mercedes-Benz Atego racing truck.


14 October 1999:

DaimlerChrysler, the French Lagardère Group and the French government announce the formation of Europe's largest aerospace company. The German-French group, entitled "European Aéronautic Defence and Space Company" (EADS), is to be created by merging Aerospatiale Matra S.A. and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa).


15 - 20 October 1999:

The Mercedes-Benz Tourismo touring coach series from the production of the Turkish subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Türk is completely revamped inside and out and debuts at the Busworld bus and coach show in Kortrijk, Belgium. Setra presents the combined-service S 317 GT-HD bus: with 61 seats it expands the ComfortClass and offers an economical alternative for regular and occasional services.


18 October 1999:

Dasa and the Franco-British joint venture Matra Marconi Space (MMS) decide to merge their aerospace activities and set up the space technology company Astrium. With over 8000 employees and revenues of € 2.25 billion, Astrium will be industry leader in Europe.


31 October 1999:

After winning the final race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, Mika Häkkinen in a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 is crowned Formula One world champion for the second time.


15 November 1999:

The company’s amateur jazz enthusiasts establish the DaimlerChrysler Big Band and DaimlerChrysler Classic Jazz Orchestra.


November 1999:

Mercedes-Benz presents the Pullman variant of the S-Class (220 series). This new representational limousine boasts luxurious levels of spaciousness and state-of-the-art technology.


November 1999:

Mercedes-AMG adds the CL 55 AMG, CLK 55 AMG Convertible and four-wheel drive E 55 AMG 4MATIC – available as a Saloon or Estate – � to its model range.


2 December 1999:

The contract to merge CASA, Aerospatiale Matra S.A. and Dasa to create EADS is signed in Madrid. With an overall workforce of 96,000 and revenues totalling around € 21 billion, EADS is one of the world's three biggest aerospace companies and number one in Europe.


6 - 22 December 1999:

The NEBUS (New Electric Bus) enters regular service with transport operator Hamburger Hochbahn AG in order to collect practical experience and familiarise the public with this prototype of a zero-emission fuel cell powered urban bus.


10 years ago


10 January 2009:

On the eve of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Mercedes-Benz presents its new E-Class (212 series) to the international press in Detroit. The new model features a multitude of innovations in the fields of safety, comfort and environmental compatibility, among them the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and enhanced PRE-SAFE Brake, which triggers automatic full braking to mitigate the consequences of an accident that is no longer avoidable.


11 - 25 January 2009:

Two vehicle concepts from Mercedes-Benz make their debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan/USA, under the motto "Fascination and responsibility". The exclusive SLR Stirling Moss top-class speedster, of which only 75 will ever be built, represents the end of the current SLR 199 series. With its "CONCEPT BlueZERO", featuring a modular design with different drive configurations, Mercedes-Benz is able to demonstrate the everyday viability of electric drive for zero-emission or very low-emission motoring: the BlueZERO E-CELL with battery-electric drive, the BlueZERO F-CELL with fuel cell drive and the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS with a combination of electric drive and additional combustion engine as "range extender".


29 January 2009:

In the presence of the German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and the Vice Mayor of the People’s Government Beijing, Gou Zhongwen, a letter of intent is signed between the Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd. and Daimler AG relating to the formation of a 50:50 joint venture in China. Plans include the manufacture of medium and heavy-duty trucks as well as the exchange of technology.


13 February 2009:

To mark the 30th anniversary of the G-Class, Mercedes-Benz introduces two special limited-edition models: the "EDITION30", based on the G 500 long-wheelbase estate (463 series) and the "EDITION30.PUR", based on the G 280 CDI (461 series), also an estate.


24 February 2009:

In the presence of a considerable number of dignitaries from the world of politics and government administration, Mercedes-Benz India opens its new site and a new production plant in Chakan, Pune. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles will be manufactured in separate production facilities across a total site area of some 400 hectares.


26 February 2009:

Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance China (MBAFC), a subsidiary of Daimler Financial Services AG, extends its product range by becoming the first automotive finance company to offer vehicle leasing in China.


27 February 2009:

A new truck plant for Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) is officially opened in Saltillo in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila in the presence of Mexico's President Felipe Calderón. The site's facilities, created for the production of Freightliner's heavy-duty Cascadia truck, cover an area of more than 120,000 sq m, and along with the production plant itself include a logistics centre, administration building and a training centre.


4 - 26 March 2009:

At a press trial drive event for the new E-Class in Madrid, Mercedes-Benz also presents the special-protection variant of the 212 series. The new Guard model, which can be ordered from 31 March, marks the continuation of eight decades of expertise at in developing and building special-protection vehicles.


5 - 15 March 2009:

The E-Class of the 212 series celebrates its motor show premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. Making its debut there at the same time is the E-Class Coupé (207 series), which melds the virtues of the saloon with the fascination and elegance of a coupé. A new highlight in the range of luxury saloons under the Maybach brand is also introduced in the form of the Maybach Zeppelin. This car, production of which is limited to 100 models, takes the absolute top spot in the high-end luxury saloon category. Two smart models also celebrate their world premiere in Geneva: the near-series fortwo BRABUS electric drive show car, featuring a lithium-ion battery, and the "edition limited three" special model based on the smart fortwo mhd passion.


11 March 2009:

Daimler AG announces that, due to general economic conditions, short-time working will also be introduced at its Wörth, Gaggenau, Kassel and Mannheim truck plants from April/May. This is the company's response to the continuing low level of demand and declining order intake as a reflection of current market developments.


17 March 2009:

Daimler is further extending its training commitment in China with the opening of a vocational school in Fuzhou. This marks the official commencement of a cooperation with two state training schools in Fuzhou, including the newly opened one, in order to strategically support the Fujian Daimler Automotive (FJDA) joint venture. Following the model of the dual training system practised in the German locations, a total of 300 students in ten classes are to be trained as production mechanics in Fuzhou.


18 March 2009:

Mercedes-Benz introduces a new truck navigation system ex factory for the Atego, Axor and Actros model ranges. The new system takes account of specific commercial vehicle considerations such as weight restrictions, overhead clearance and restrictions on access to inner-city areas.


22 March 2009:

Daimler AG announces its intention to increase capital stock by around 10 %, excluding subscription rights of current shareholders, and to sell all new shares to Aabar Investments PJSC. The Abu Dhabi-based investment company thus becomes a major shareholder, with a stake of around 9.1 % of the new share capital.


25 March 2009:

Mercedes-Benz presents the fuel cell powered F-CELL Roadster, built as part of an interdisciplinary project by more than 150 students and apprentices on dual vocational training courses at the company's Sindelfingen plant. The aim of the project, which is also monitored by management trainees from a wide variety of disciplines, is the practice-oriented integration of "alternative drive systems" as a topic in the training programme.


25 March 2009:

The Mercedes-Benz Gallery, with an exhibition area of around 400 sq m over two floors, opens at Odeonsplatz in Munich. The appeal of the Mercedes-Benz Galleries, further examples of which are to open both in Germany and elsewhere, lies in their attractive inner-city locations with a high level of footfall and their aesthetically sophisticated patial and design concept.


26 March 2009:

Launch of the public test phase of the innovative mobility concept car2go in the German city of Ulm. With a test fleet expanded to 200 smart fortwo cdi, car2go now becomes available to all of Ulm's residents and visitors.


29 March 2009:

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the first race of the Formula One season, marks the first time that three teams with engines from Mercedes-Benz are in the starting line-up. In addition to Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes, the two other teams - Brawn GP and Force India - also rely on the 2.4-litre V8 engines built by Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth, UK. Jenson Button wins the opening race in a Brawn BGP 001 racing car, as well as five out of the next six grand prix races.


March 2009:

In the rear axle assembly shop at the Esslingen-Mettingen site of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant, new-style lightweight robots, such as those used in aerospace applications, are used for the first time in the automotive industry. These relieve assembly workers of tasks where, along with precision and sensitivity, considerable physical effort is involved.


10 - 19 April 2009:

The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) marks the debut of the ML 450 HYBRID with its innovative two-mode hybrid system, designed specifically for the US market, and of the upgraded GL-Class (X 164 series). The E 250 BlueTEC concept car combines the characteristics of the new highly efficient four-cylinder CDI engine with the advantages of SCR emission control technology. The E 63 AMG, the 386 kW / 525 hp top-of-the-range E-Class (212 series), also celebrates its premiere.


15 April 2009:

Daimler AG and India's Hero Group announce that the Daimler Hero Commercial Vehicles Ltd. joint venture is to be dissolved. The Hero Group will focus on its core business operations and return its 40 % stake in the joint venture to Daimler Trucks.


22 - 28 April 2009:

At Auto Shanghai 2009, the world's second largest motor show, Mercedes-Benz presents the S-Class 2009 (221 series), an enhanced generation of this successful luxury saloon. The new S 400 HYBRID, the first production vehicle to feature hybrid drive and a lithium-ion battery, is the CO2 champion of the luxury class. Embodying the principle of "green luxury", it combines status, comfort and safety with exemplary efficiency and environmental compatibility.


23 April 2009:

To mark the centenary of the company trademarks, the three-pointed Mercedes star and the Benz laurel wreath, Mercedes-Benz introduces an exceptionally exclusive model of the CL Coupé (C 216 series). The stunning "Mercedes-Benz Trademark Centenary" anniversary model offers a comprehensive trim package incorporating exquisite details such as meticulous reproductions of the original trademarks on the centre console.


27 April 2009:

Daimler AG, Chrysler, Cerberus and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a US government agency, sign an agreement covering the outstanding issues between the parties relating to Chrysler. Daimler relinquishes its remaining 19.9 % stake in Chrysler and agrees to waive repayment of loans made to Chrysler. Daimler will also help safeguard the payment of pensions to former DaimlerChrysler employees by making three annual payments of USD 200 million each into the Chrysler pension plans.


4 - 15 May 2009:

Launch of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a whole range of new features at the Van Technology Center in Stuttgart. The four-cylinder diesel engines of the OM 651 range meet Euro 5 as standard; in combination with the newly developed six-speed manual ECO Gear transmission, they manage to deliver higher output yet with significantly reduced consumption. Further new features include ESP trailer stabilisation and adaptive brake lights.


19 May 2009:

Daimler AG announces plans at a press conference in Stuttgart to take a stake of almost 10 % in Tesla Motors Inc. This investment marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between the inventor of the automobile and one of the newest arrivals to the automotive industry. Tesla is the only manufacturer to sell a battery-powered vehicle in North America and Europe that is designed specifically for operation over long distances.


5 June 2009:

On the occasion of World Environment Day 2009, the E-Class receives much sought-after environmental certification according to ISO standard 14062, which is based on a comprehensive life cycle assessment of the vehicle. Since July 2005, environmental certification has been awarded to the C-Class, as well as to the A and B-Class. The GLK was the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to receive the award in May 2009.


7 - 11 June 2009:

The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid celebrates its world premiere at the UITP Congress in Vienna, the world congress for public transport operators. The fuel cell hybrid bus, developed as part of the company's global "Shaping Future Transportation" initiative, combines two hydrogen-fed fuel cell stacks with powerful lithium-ion batteries, allowing the vehicle to be driven several kilometres on battery power alone. A fleet test with a small series of 10 vehicles will begin in 2010.


15 June 2009:

At a TecDay Safety held in Sindelfingen, Mercedes-Benz introduces its ESF 2009, the company's first Experimental Safety Vehicle since 1974. Among the ideas pioneered here are metal structures that inflate within fractions of a second to give more stability to structural components, as well as the so-called Braking Bag.


17 June 2009:

The OMV filling station at Stuttgart airport is the location for the inauguration of the first public hydrogen refuelling point in the German state of Baden-Württemberg by oil and gas company OMV in cooperation with Linde AG and Daimler AG.


17 June 2009:

Among the highly coveted "International Engine of the Year Awards 2009" are awards for the best engine in three separate categories made to Mercedes-Benz and AMG. The AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine M 156 even takes two awards: in the categories of "Best Performance Engine" and "Above 4 litres" the powerful 386 kW / 525 hp high-performance naturally aspirated engine takes first place, in both cases by a considerable margin. In the category "2 - 2.5 litres" the top spot is taken by the OM 651 four-cylinder diesel engine.


24 June 2009:

Dignitaries from the world of politics and industry join the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg Günther Oettinger at Kuppenheim for a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of a new Mercedes-Benz press shop, to be affiliated to the Gaggenau plant. Daimler AG has invested € 70 million in the new production facility on this 156,000 sq m site, which will produce exterior panels for Mercedes-Benz trucks and for the next generation of A-Class and B-Class passenger cars from late 2010.


25 June 2009:

Mitsubishi Fuso launches the new generation of its Canter compact truck. The European version takes to the road with a new generation of engines and transmissions, as well as an optimised kerb weight/payload ratio. All these measures add up to improved environmental compatibility.


6 July 2009:

Daimler and Evonik launch the next stage of their strategic alliance - focused on electrification of the car - with an announcement concerning location: Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Evonik Industries AG, will produce battery systems on the basis of lithium-ion technology at Kamenz, in the Saxony region of Germany. Construction of the new production facility is due to commence in autumn 2009.


13 July 2009:

Daimler AG sells 40 % of its 10 % stake in Tesla Motors, Inc. to its major shareholder Aabar Investments PJSC, Abu Dhabi. This step marks the beginning of the companies' first joint strategic project, focusing on the development of electric vehicles.


13 July 2009:

At a TecDay under the title "On the road to emission-free mobility", Daimler presents to the press the current status of implementation of its drive system strategy. Optimisation of the combustion engine, efficiency improvements through hybridisation and the introduction of zero local emissions electric vehicles are the cornerstones of this strategy.


July 2009:

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) delivers the first five tractor units of the natural gas powered Freightliner Business Class M2 112 NG. These eco-friendly and economical natural gas powered trucks will be used for port operations in the Californian cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles.


July 2009:

Mercedes-Benz do Brasil celebrates a sales milestone with a special edition of the Axor 2544: since production start-up here in 1956, the company's Brazilian subsidiary has sold a million trucks.


27 August 2009:

In the presence of Berlin's governing mayor, Klaus Wowereit, a 3740 sq m photovoltaic system is officially inaugurated on the roof of one of the production halls at the Mercedes-Benz Berlin-Marienfelde plant. The largest continuous stretch of solar roofing in Berlin, it is capable of generating around 430,000 kWh of energy a year.


31 August 2009:

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd. announce the signing of a letter of intent covering closer cooperation between the two companies in the bus and coach sector. Among the possible options for ensuring a successful positioning in the Japanese bus and coach market is the establishment of a joint venture between the two companies.


10 September 2009:

The one millionth M-Class SUV leaves the production line of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama/USA. The milestone vehicle, a particularly fuel-efficient ML 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, goes to a dealer on the west coast of the US.


17 - 27 September 2009:

The Frankfurt International Motor Show marks the debut of both the 212-series E-Class Estate and of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (197 series). The gullwing-door super sports car developed by AMG features an all-aluminium body and space frame. Its 420 kW / 571 hp front-mid powerplant, the most powerful variant of the 6.2-litre eight-cylinder M 156 engine, is combined here with a dual clutch transmission and makes possible speeds of up to 317 km/h. Presented here as a concept, the Vision S 500 Plug-In HYBRID offers the possibility of fuel consumption of just 3.2 litres per 100 km. Celebrating its world premiere at the show is the B-Class F-CELL, the first fuel cell passenger car to be manufactured under series-production conditions. It features an locally emission-free drive unit, and the figures convert to an equivalent NEDC fuel consumption of 3.3 litres of diesel per 100 km. smart presents the special "edition highstyle" model and the new 'smart BRABUS tailor made' individualisation programme. With this new service the brand offers a wide range of special equipment options, in addition to the usual variants, so that smart customers can fulfil even the wildest of dreams.


28 September - 9 October 2009:

As part of an eco-training event, Mercedes-Benz presents to the press the new BlueEFFICIENCY-package for the Sprinter. The efficiency package in the diesel models includes a new ECO start/stop function to optimise fuel consumption and reduce emissions, in addition to the new four-cylinder engines and six-speed ECO Gear transmission. The BlueEFFICIENCY badge is also worn by the particularly economical natural gas powered Sprinter NGT, which is remarkable for its significantly reduced exhaust and noise emissions.


September 2009:

Binz in Lorch, Württemberg, starts series production of lengthened chassis based on the E-Class 212 series. Unlike with the predecessor VF 211 series, Binz builds the VF 212 entirely autonomously and offers the chassis in three varying wheelbase lengths. These are no longer based on the body-in-white structures, but instead on complete assembled estates without rear seat sets or boot space floor.


8 October 2009:

During a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the smart production plant in Hambach, in France's Lorraine region, Daimler AG announces the location for the future series production of the smart fortwo electric drive. A small-series production run of 1000 units of the lithium-ion battery-powered electric car will be produced from mid-November, with volume production coming off the line in Hambach from 2012.


13 October 2009:

The first natural gas powered Mercedes-Benz Econic to be built at the Wörth plant leaves the production line. Produced until now at the Mannheim Competence Centre for Emission-Free Mobility (KEM), the high level of customer demand means that gas powered Econic vehicles will be integrated into regular series production and built from now on at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth.


16 October 2009:

The foundation stone for a new passenger car production plant is ceremoniously laid in Kecskemét, Hungary, in the presence of Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai. Following the investment of some € 800 million, the successor generation of the current A-Class and B-Class will be produced in Kecskemét from 2012 as part of a coordinated production system with the German Rastatt plant.


16 - 21 October 2009:

At the Busworld bus and coach show in Kortrijk, Belgium, the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH makes its debut as a high-floor bus for the premium interurban and touring coach segment. The revised range of Sprinter minibuses equipped with new drivetrain also has its premiere. The Setra ComfortClass 400 is presented for the first time in upgraded form with over 30 innovations. The high-floor S 415 H and S 416 H buses make their debut in the MultiClass 400 series.


18 October 2009:

After taking fifth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos, the penultimate race of the season, Jenson Button becomes Formula One world champion driving the Brawn-Mercedes BGP 001. Three of his six wins were achieved in succession using just one engine. Brawn-Mercedes also wins the Formula One constructors' championship.


25 October 2009:

Gary Paffett, in an AMG-Mercedes C-Class, wins the DTM final at the Hockenheimring to become championship runner-up ahead of teammate Paul Di Resta. AMG-Mercedes wins the team classification.


October 2009:

Mercedes-Benz offers the option of unlimited wireless internet access in the E-Class and S-Class for the first time. With Mercedes-Benz InCar Hotspot, data signals are received via the vehicle aerial. These signals are processed by a special WLAN router and a data-compatible SIM card to provide wireless internet access even when the car is on the move.


16 November 2009:

Daimler AG announces that from the 2010 season Mercedes-Benz will be competing with a works team in the Formula One World Championship. Subject to the approval of the EU and the Swiss antitrust authorities, Daimler and Aabar Investments PJSC will acquire 75.1 % of Brawn GP, whereby Daimler will take a 45.1 % interest and Aabar 30 %. The remaining 24.9 % will remain with the current shareholders. In addition, Daimler and McLaren Group will change the nature of their cooperation with effect from 13 November. McLaren Group will conclude its repurchase of the 40 % stake held by Daimler AG by 2011. The supply of Mercedes-Benz engines to McLaren is possible until 2015.


19 November 2009:

Initial pilot testing of the car2go concept begins in the US in close cooperation with the city of Austin, Texas, in what is also the first appearance of the innovative mobility concept outside Europe. At the same time, Austin becomes the official location for the Daimler subsidiary car2go North America LLC. The pilot project begins with 200 smart fortwo – initially for a defined user group made up of 13,000 city authority employees.


11 December 2009:

A ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction work on a new automated small parts warehouse (AKL) takes place at the Mercedes-Benz truck plant at Wörth. With a total investment of € 26 million and on premises covering over an area of 6600 sq m, the automated small parts warehouse will be the first to operate in a truck assembly plant.


17 December 2009:

The first smart fortwo electric drive vehicles are handed over to customers in Berlin. The compact two-seater is the first locally emission-free vehicle in the world to offer lithium-ion technology in conjunction with intelligent charging management.