Mercedes-Benz marque has existed since 1926, but the
companies origin goes back to the late 19th century.
Daimler-Benz was formed by the merger of Benz & Cie,
Rheinishe Gasmotorenfabrik of Mannheim and Daimler
Motoren-Gesellschaft of Stuttgart. Daimler produced their
first truck in 1896 while Benz & Cie, which had been
founded in 1883, completed their first entry to the truck
market in 1899.
Daimler had set up a separate truck building company called Motorfahrzeug und Motorenfabrik Berlin in Marienfelde in 1899. This was absorbed by Daimler in 1914.
Benz & Cie formed a syndicate involving Süddeutsche Autombilfabrik (SAF) in Gaggenau. Benz concentrated on cars while SAF were responsible for truck production.
SAF was taken over by Benz to form Benz-Werke in Gaggenau in 1908.
After developing similar products over the next decade, Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie were to merge in 1926. Gaggenau became the truck plant, while Marienfelde in Berlin became a repair center.
The worlds first diesel powered car, the model 260 D, was shown at the Berlin Car Show in February 1936.
During WW II 64.000 trucks were produced by Daimler-Benz, almost exclusively for military use. Towards the end of the war a batch of 3 ton Opel Blitz trucks were assembled.
The production facilities were severely damaged due allied air raids, and production was´nt resumed until 1949. Heavy trucks were made at the Gaggenau plant, which also produced the new Unimog, while medium trucks were produced at Mannheim.
By the end of the 1950´s Daimler-Benz AG had several factories in Germany and assembly plants in 24 countries. Gaggenau was still the main heavy truck plant.
A new production plant was set up in Wörth in 1963. At first only cabs were produced, but in 1967 the new factory had taken over from Mannheim and Gaggenau.
A redesigned forward-control cab was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. At the same time Mercedes-Benz announced its first direct-injection diesel engine.
In the late 1960 a new range of V6, V8, V10 and V12 engines with an output ranging from 192 to 400 hp were introduced.
The distribution of Krupp trucks were taken over in 1968. Krupp produced it´s first truck in 1919, and continued until WW II when the whole Krupp organisation collapsed.
It was renamed Sudwerke GmbH in 1945 and produced trucks in a plant in Kulmbach until 1951. The productions was transferred back to Essen in 1951, and a new range including the Titan and Buffel was launched.
After the sale of the truck division to Mercedes, Krupp switched to the production of heavy duty mobile cranes.
The Hanomag-Henschel Fahrzeugwerke GmbH with production facilities in Kassel and Bremen was taken over in 1970.
An agreement was formed with FAP-Famos in 1972 to supply cabs to the Yugoslavian factory.
A United States assembly plant was built in Hampton/Newport news in 1980. The following year the Freightliner Corporation of the United States was taken over.
The joint company between Saurer and FBW, the NAW, was taken over in 1982.
The Daimler-Benz AG group was reconstructed in 1989 and renamed Mercedes-Benz AG.
IFA at Ludwigsfelde in the former GDR was taken over by Mercedes-Benz in 1990.
The Daimler-Benz and Freightliner Corporation subsidiary absorbed Ford´s heavy truck operations in the United States in 1997, and in 1998 Daimler-Benz merged with American Chrysler into DaimlerChrysler AG.
The Unimog production facility in Gaggenau was closed in August 2002, and the production was relocated to Wörth where other Mercedes trucks are assembled.
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