120 years ago, the name of an eleven-year-old girl became the epitome of cars and the first luxury car brand in the world.On April 2, 1900, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft decided to call its automobiles Mercédès, after the daughter of Emil Jellinek.
The Austrian businessman, who lived in Nice, traded in Daimler vehicles and registered them for racing events. The first vehicle with this melodious Spanish name – the Mercedes 35 PS – caused a sensation at the Nice race week as early as March 1901. This was not only because of its highly advanced technology – allowing it to win several races there – but also because of its exceptionally elegant design. The Mercedes 35 hp is regarded as the prototype of the modern automobile and, with its progressive vehicle architecture, has become a model for the entire automobile industry. Paul Meyan, then Secretary General of the Automobile Club of France, said after the race week: “We have entered the Mercedes era.”
From then on, the curved “Mercédès” lettering adorned the radiators of Daimler passenger cars. Since then, the brand name – which was changed to Mercedes-Benz after the merger of the Daimler and Benz companies in June 1926 – has been both an expression of and a commitment to luxury and innovation. Like no other automotive company, Mercedes-Benz knows how to combine beauty and elegance with performance and technology. Moreover, the secret to the success of the current Mercedes-Benz design is the combination of intelligence and emotion.
To this day, Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive brand that bears a female name.
Since 2016, Mercedes-Benz has consistently been the world’s most valuable luxury automobile brand and is the only European brand among the top 10 in the “Best Global Brands 2019” ranking by Interbrand, the renowned U.S. brand consulting company.