The obligations arising from tradition

“I despise the overcrowded trains on summer journeys and the restrictions imposed by the railways, and this leads me to the idea of autonomous driving.”

Gottlieb Daimler, diary entry during a trip through Russia, 1881

Gottlieb Daimler and Carl BenzOvercrowded trains, travel according to the timetable, without the possibility of spontaneously making detours to the right or left of the railway tracks: on a long journey through Russia in 1881, Gottlieb Daimler became aware of the railways’ limitations – and in response, although not explicitly noting it down in his diary, developed the vision of individual mobility.  A vision that was to change the world radically, overcome frontiers and bring people together.  Today, the world is no longer conceivable without the automobile.

Daimler AG looks back on over 120 years of automotive development.  Each individual year reflects the programmatic approach of Gottlieb Daimler.  It all began with the world’s first automobiles, the patent motor car and the motorized coach, and continued with the first Mercedes, the charismatic supercharged cars, the first diesel-engined passenger car, the safety passenger cell, the airbag, the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, the common rail diesel engine (CDI) and the night view assistant – these are just a few examples from the seemingly endless list of outstanding inventions by Mercedes-Benz. Right from the start, the brand has been the benchmark for innovation, reliability, quality and longevity – and continues to be just that, perfectly in keeping with Gottlieb Daimler’s claim to “nothing but the best.”

This claim and Gottlieb Daimler’s wish to facilitate individual mobility on land, on water and in the air are fueled by a driving force which has always been a lively tradition at Mercedes-Benz and made us one of the world’s most successful motor manufacturers:  our automotive passion.

Keeping this passion alive is the task of Heritage, ensuring that this intensive and motivating force continues to have a formative influence on the brand’s culture.  The brand is defined by three factors:

  • The vehicles: since the invention of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz has been occupying a traditional pioneering role, ensuring that Mercedes-Benz is a synonym for quality and technical expertise.  This has given rise to the customers’ and the public’s high expectations of the brand – which are fulfilled by the brand with continuous innovation, responsibility and passion.
  • The company and its staff:  this passion is also felt by the staff.  With their enthusiasm and commitment to the products and the brand, they make their day-to-day contributions to the continuation of the company’s extensive history and culture.  This special attitude and culture have been prevailing right from the early beginnings and from one generation to the next have developed into a crucial element of the brand.
  • The customers and friends of the brand: they are the ambassadors of the brand, carrying on the knowledge, the culture and the tradition of the company.  As the inventors of the automobile, we bear responsibility vis-à-vis our customers, the friends of the brand and the public.  We have therefore been cultivating the dialogue with all of them for over 100 years.

With its corporate history of over 120 years, its tradition and past, Mercedes-Benz is a globally unique brand.  No other motor manufacturer has a history that is as distinguished and influential as that of Mercedes-Benz.  This was the case in 1901 when the first Mercedes was developed, and this is continued with groundbreaking innovations for individual mobility and with successful product campaigns on an ongoing basis.

The task of Heritage is to keep the story of passion alive at Mercedes-Benz.  We are making tradition visible and cultivate it in order to preserve this inestimable value for the company.

Daimler AG, December 2007

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