The beautiful Spanish name that started it all.
Not many companies can legitimately celebrate a century of success, but Mercedes-Benz can. While it has been 135 years since the Benz Patent-Motorwagen changed the face of personal transportation, the German automaker celebrated a different anniversary this week, namely, 120 years of the Mercedes brand name and the girl who inspired it. The official date of the iconic mark was on April 2. The 11-year-old girl's name, of course, was Mercedes, the daughter of Austrian businessman Emil Jellinek.
Residing in Nice, Jellinek registered Daimler vehicles for racing events, the Mercedes 35 PS being one of them. But it was on April 2, 1900, that the Mercedes name first graced the automobiles of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. The official trademark was registered on June 23, 1902, but another 24 years passed before the name morphed into Mercedes-Benz as we know it today, following Daimler's merger with Benz.
It's a story that has been told before but still fascinates each time we hear it again, especially as Mercedes-Benz has remained a pioneer in a vastly more competitive industry. A little-known fact is that even today, Mercedes-Benz is the sole motoring brand with a female name. "Women like Mercedes Jellinek or Bertha Benz shaped the success story of Mercedes-Benz from the start," says Bettina Fetzer, Mercedes-Benz AG's head of marketing.
Today, female empowerment lives on in the brand's ethos. "With our She's Mercedes initiative, founded in 2015, we are building on this tradition for our numerous female customers around the world," explained Fetzer. Today, Mercedes churns out thousands of vehicles globally, appealing to both men and women alike.
Commenting on the brand's longevity, Gorden Wagener, the Chief Design Officer for the Daimler Group, said: "Our quest for the perfect realization of luxury and the driving of innovation is part of our brand DNA. It forms the basis of the sustained success of our brand." Wagener cited the GLA and the EQC as examples of modern Mercedes models that blend the latest technologies with high desirability.
With a brand identity that transcends the motoring world, we're sure that Emil Jellinek couldn't have imagined that his daughter's name would grace cars like the fire-breathing AMG GT R and the sublime S-Class. The next 120 years of Mercedes are sure to be just as groundbreaking.