Mercedes Benz is well known for making luxury cars but is also involved in four wheel drives and heavy trucks including Unimog offroad trucks.
The Mercedes Benz M-class or AAV.
This is Mercedes' second serious attempt to break into
the modern boom in four wheel drives for the general public.
Earlier, Mercedes Benz created the Gelaendewagen or Gwagen (right) with Steyr Daimler Puch and still sell it in some markets.
The Korean manufacturer Ssangyong has close ties with Mercedes and in August 1996 Mercedes Benz (Australia) started selling the Ssangyong Musso four wheel drive - until 1998 when Daewoo, which bought Ssangyong in late 1997, took this role.
Now, prodded into new 4WD action by booming SUV sales, Mercedes has launched the M-class, based on the `all-activity vehicle' (AAV), and built at Tuscaloosa in Alabama. Is this what pushed BMW to buy Rover? The AAV was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1996 and production began in 1997.
A Little History.
Karl Benz (1844-1929) built a motorised tricycle driven by an oil-spirit internal combustion engine in 1885. This is widely held to be the first successful motor vehicle.
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) built a motorised bicycle in 1885 and a 4-wheel motor carriage in 1886. In 1900 Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) produced the Mercedes car of very modern configuration - 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed + reverse gearbox. It was named after the daughter of Emile Jellinek who ordered a large number and de-facto became the first dealer of Daimler cars. The 1902 Simplex is oldest existing Mercedes.
1902: `Mercedes' registered as a trademark.
1924: The firms of Daimler and Benz signed an "agreement of mutual interest" and they merged to form Mercedes-Benz in 1926.
1994: Fuel cell prototype NECAR 1 (New Electric CAR), based on an MB 100 van.
1998 May 8:
and Mercedes-Benz announced that they are planning to merge
to form Daimler Chrysler Aktiengesellschaft.
The new company will be held by shareholders in
Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in the ratio ~ 57:43.
Dimler Benz is Germany's largest industrial company
and Chrysler is the #5 car-maker in terms of world production,
behind General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen.
2000 March: Daimler Chrysler plans to acquire 1/3 of Mitsubishi (which has debt problems) making the Daimler - Chrysler -Mitsubishi car grouping the world's third largest after GM and Ford.
2000 June 26: Daimler Chrysler and Hyundai Motor Co. have agreed to form an alliance under the terms of which DaimlerChrysler will acquire a 10 percent stake in Hyundai.
2000 December: 100th anniversary of the Mercedes name.
2001 June: Daimlerchrysler and Hyundai announced joint plans to build engines for commercial vehicles. DC bought 10% of Hyundai ~September 2000.
4WD Vehicles A-Z
4WD Toys & Models
History of 4WDs