1980

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  • 1 January 1980
  • Daimler-Benz steps up its activities in major European export markets. In Switzerland, the company ups its stake in MERFAG AG to 51 % and the company, renamed Mercedes-Benz (Schweiz) AG, becomes the general distributor also for passenger cars in the country. In Austria, Daimler-Benz Österreich Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH – established in Salzburg on 22 October 1979 and in which Daimler-Benz has a 50 % holding – acts as the general distributor for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Mercedes-Benz Belgium S.A./N.V. in Brussels and Mercedes-Benz Nederland B.V. in Utrecht are created following the takeover of the previous general distributors IMA and MATINAUTO in Belgium and AGAM and MEHACO in the Netherlands.
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  • 11 - 15 February 1980
  • Daimler-Benz presents a number of test vehicles with environment-friendly technologies at the international "ENVITEC – Environmental Protection Technology" exhibition: a noise-encapsulated 240 D, an urban bus with gyro drive, and an electric van in which particular attention was paid to reducing the cost of the electric drive system.
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  • April 1980
  • After 55 years and production totalling 155,892 vehicles – 111,555 from the Henschel and Hanomag-Henschel brands – truck assembly is wound up at the Kassel plant. The move marks a further stage in the restructuring of the Daimler-Benz production organisation, in which Kassel becomes a central manufacturing facility for commercial vehicle axles.
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  • 9 - 14 June 1980
  • Mercedes-Benz presents to the press new models from the mid-range 123 series equipped with in-line four-cylinders from the newly developed M 102 engine series. The 200 and 230 E saloons, the 230 TE estate and the 230 CE coupé are introduced in June, and the 200 T appears in October 1980 together with the 300 TD Turbodiesel, previously presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1979.
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  • 8 August 1980
  • The Anambra Motor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (ANAMMCO) plant in Enugu, Nigeria, is officially opened. Daimler-Benz has a 40 % holding in the company, which was established on 17 January 1977 to assemble medium-duty Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles.
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  • August 1980
  • The 473,035th and last unit of the 116-series S-Class introduced in 1972 comes off the production line at the Sindelfingen plant. The silver 300 SD is acquired for the vehicle collection of the Daimler-Benz Museum.
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  • 12 - 18 September 1980
  • The MB-trac 1500 (443-series) is presented as the new flagship model of the heavy-duty series at the DLG exhibition in Hanover.
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  • 18 September 1980
  • The American subsidiary Mercedes-Benz of North America opens a new plant in Hampton-Newport News, Virginia/USA, where up to 6000 mid-range trucks are to be assembled annually from CKD parts kits. The parts kits are supplied by Mercedes-Benz do Brasil.
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  • 28 September 1980
  • The O-Bahn sets off on its first scheduled regular service journey within the public transport network of Essen, Germany. A total of 21 Mercedes-Benz articulated pusher buses provide services along a 1.3-km track-guided route.
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  • September 1980
  • With the MB 100 and MB 130 models, the Spanish subsidiary MEVOSA unveils a series of Mercedes-Benz light vans manufactured at the Vitoria plant.
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  • 2 - 12 October 1980
  • Mercedes-Benz extends its range of heavy-duty construction site vehicles with new models presented at the Paris Motor Show. The two and three-axle tippers and all-wheel-drive tippers 1928 K/AK and 2628 K/AK are powered by the 206 kW / 280 hp OM 422 naturally aspirated V8 engine.
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  • 4/5 October 1980
  • In the International Fuel Economy Competition in the Swiss town of Veltheim, Untertürkheim apprentice Jutta Lange sets a new world record for petrol-engined economobiles, covering a distance equivalent to 1267 km on a litre of fuel.
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  • 13 - 20 October 1980
  • Daimler-Benz presents the electric hybrid bus OE 305 and the 307 E electrically-driven van to an international audience at the "Drive Electric '80" show in London. As part of a large-scale trial, 18 of these vans are put into everyday service on the streets of Berlin and Stuttgart.
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  • 30 October 1980
  • Daimler-Benz's new "Haus Lämmerbuckel" training centre is officially opened. The new centre meets the demand for basic and advanced training, which has grown by 50 % between 1975 and 1980 alone.
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  • 4 November 1980
  • Daimler-Benz AG increases its holding in the Spanish firm MEVOSA to 52.77 %. On 2 April 1981 the company is renamed Mercedes-Benz España, S.A. As part of the restructuring of the production set-up, manufacture of assemblies is centered in Barcelona and commercial vehicle assembly concentrated in Vitoria.
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  • 7 November 1980
  • The 100,000th Mercedes-Benz bus produced at the Mannheim plant since the war – an O 303 luxury long-distance high-deck coach – rolls off the assembly line.
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  • 15 - 19 November 1980
  • Daimler-Benz places a "Popemobile" at the disposal of Pope John Paul II for his visit to Germany. Specially developed for this purpose and based on the 230 G cross-country vehicle, the Popemobile enables optimum visibility with its Plexiglas dome, while providing protection against wind and rain.
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  • 9 - 14 December 1980
  • In the Bandama Rally, now officially known as the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire, the teams of Björn Waldegaard/Hans Thorszelius and Jorge Recalde/Nestor Straimel fend off fierce competition to take first and second place in a Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC. This success signals the end of the company's participation in rally competition.
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