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Mercedes Benz logo

Karl Benz patented the motor car powered by an internal combustion engine and the first public test-drive was on July 3, 1886 Mannheim, Germany. In 1893 he developed the king-pin steering system allowing the front wheels to turn corners. The Benz Velo, built between 1894 and 1899, was the first series-production car.

The "Mercedes-Benz" has been considered a premium brand for many decades. DaimlerChrysler employs 199,000 people throughout the world. DaimlerChrysler has more than 50 production and assembly plants as well as 6,300 service and sales support outlets for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

DaimlerChrysler is divided into "Passenger Cars" and "Commercial Vehicles". Passenger Cars: This covers the Mercedes A-Class (produced in Rastatt/German) the V-class (MPV), the SLK roadster, the CLK coupe, and the M-class (produced in Tuscaloosa/USA). In 1996, Mercedes sold over 640,000 passenger cars worldwide. Commercial Vehicles: This covers the Mercedes-Benz Vito light van to the Actros 48-ton truck, the urban, interurban and tourist buses of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra marques, the Unimog series and industrial engines for a wide range of applications. DaimlerChrysler Commercial Vehicles has plants in Wörth (trucks), Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde (vans) and Mannheim and Ulm (buses), Gaggenau (Unimog and commercial vehicle transmissions) and Kassel (axles) in Germany. DaimlerChrysler has also production facilities in Brazil, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, the Republic of South Africa, Spain and Turkey. The Commercial Vehicle Business Unit in 1996 sold 345.000 vans, trucks, buses and Unimog vehicles.

DaimlerChrysler Groups turnover increased by 8% to a total of DM 77.6 billion.

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