Karl Benz is the name associated with the birth of Mercedes-Benz, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
In 1886, he created the first petrol-powered car with the financial help of his wife, Hertha Benz. The car was called the Benz Patent Motorwagen.
However, the first vehicles to wear the Mercedes-Benz nameplate left the assembly line in 1926, after the merger between the company owned by Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler's business on 28 June.
The 1930s saw Mercedes-Benz serving the Nazis, with their most popular car at that time being the 770 model. Even Adolf Hitler had one, but if featured a bulletproof windshield, for obvious reasons.
1936 brought the first diesel-powered car also known as the 260D. Three years later, Mercedes-Benz kicked off an ample safety research campaign focused on a test vehicle that had a rigid floor, side impact protection, and a collapsible steering column.
By 1951, the findings in the field of safety brought the crumple zone, with MB filing a patent for the reinforced passenger cell with defined deformation zones, a standard in today's car industry.
Crash tests became the norm in 1958, and by 1970, Mercedes-Benz had developed the world's first ABS (Antilock Braking System). 15 years later, the 4Matic all-wheel drive system was ready for the market, while ten years later, the ESP was added to the safety party.
Besides producing cars as a standalone company, Mercedes-Benz relied on subsidiaries - Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach, but also Trucks and Buses - making a name for reliability and quality in the process.
With strong connection to the world of motorsports, the brand's offerings included legendary models like the 300 SL Gullwing, 230SL Pagoda, 600SEL, W123 (its first station wagon), but also flops like the R-Class and successful models: the S-Class, the C-Class, and the E-Class, together with pure-bred sports cars: SLR McLaren, SLS AMG and AMG GT.
A full rationalization of the model nomenclature was announced November 2014, and it would affect all the future models produced by Mercedes-Benz.
As a result, the GLK became GLC, SLK turned into SLC, ML went GLE, GL changed to GLS while additional lettering would designate drive systems: e - electric, f - fuel cell, d - diesel, c - compressed natural gas, h - hybrid.