The Origin of Mercedes-Benz

by Nate Torvik on November 23, 2012

Even the most legendary icons in history have an origin, although we may often not think back on it. History is one of those words that some feel is boring, bland, and old. Well, it is old, that’s very true, but it is also important and necessary to know where you come from. Reflecting on the past often leads to thoughts of what we want to do in the future. One of the most iconic automotive brands in the world, Mercedes-Benz, is often thinking of what their next move is, but they will never forget their past. They can’t—the past is branded on every vehicle and product that they make.

Many people recognize Benz, as in Karl Benz, who was one of the men who started the entire automobile phenomenon, but what about the name Mercedes? Who would ever have thought that the name comes from an 11-year-old girl who wasn’t even related to any of the founders of the original automotive groups?

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Emil Jellinek, was a pioneer in the automotive world.. He was a man who took the cars of the time, improved them, and made them more powerful. He also became a figurehead of the racing circuit. As a man who pushed for faster, more powerful vehicles, he often raced vehicles under a pseudonym: the first name of his daughter.

As Jellinek became more involved in the automotive industry, his eye was drawn to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and the many innovations and advancements they were making. Jellinek suggested that they move their car’s engine to the front, allowing for a sleeker, faster, and more stable car. He also suggested a name to match the car, his daughter’s name, Mercedes, which means “grace.” The car was a hit, and everyone wanted one.

This very first vehicle from DMG that was branded a Mercedes was produced in 1900, by yet another famous initiate of the automobile, Wilhelm Maybach. After making an agreement with DMG, the name “Daimler-Mercedes” became imprinted on the new, more powerful engines being developed, and the rest is history.

The vehicles were officially branded Mercedes in 1902 and remained that way until 1926, when DMG and Benz’s company, Benz & Cie., merged to become a juggernaut of the vehicular world. Since then, Mercedes-Benz has become one of the most influential brands, leading the automotive industry into new eras of performance and safety. The history of the legendary Mercedes models is very much driving the company to its future successes.

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