Mercedes Benz is the oldest automotive brand still in existence today. Mercedes were first marketed in 1901 and the first Mercedes Benz brand name car was produced in 1926. Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz had maintained a reputation for its quality and durability.
Karl Benz was credited with designing a true automobile with a chassis and an internal combustion engine. He was given the first patent for the combustion engine and was considered the father of the gasoline powered automobile.
Mercedes Benz are sold worldwide through a dealer network. In 1958 a distribution agreement was entered in with Studebaker Packard Corporation, makers of Studebaker and Packard automobiles. Mercedes was allowed to access their dealer network in the U.S. by shipping the vehicles to the dealers. In return Studebaker Packard received compensation for each Mercedes sold. In 1966 Studebaker Packard closed operations in the United States. Their dealers were offered the opportunity to convert to Mercedes Benz dealerships.
The McLaren Cars and Mercedes Benz produced a limited production sports car. They used the Mercedes engines that were used by Team McLaren Mercedes Formula One racing team. The SLR McLaren had a carbon fiber body with a 5.4 liter V8 supercharged engine. The SLR had a maximum speed of 209.4 MPH and cost approximately $500,000. McLaren Cars ceased production of the SLR in 2009 because of European pedestrian protection regulations.
Current model range Mercedes-Benz has a full range of passenger, light commercial and heavy commercial equipment. Production is on a global basis. The Smart Car marque of city cars has also been part of the Mercedes-Benz Group since 1994.
The following Mercedes passenger vehicles were in production in 2009:
A-Class - subcompact
B-Class - people carrier
C-Class - sedan (saloon), sports coupé (CLC), and estate
CL-Class - coupé
CLS-Class - 4 door coupeE-Class - sedan (saloon), coupé, convertible, and estate
G-Class - 4WD cross-country vehicle
GL-Class - SUV
GLK-Class - SUV
M-Class - SUV
R-Class - crossover minivan
S-Class - sedan (saloon)
SL-Class - roadster
SLK-Class - roadster
SLS - hardtop supercar