120 years ago, the name of an eleven-year-old girl became the epitome of cars and the first luxury car brand in the world. On April 2nd 1900, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft decided to call its automobiles Mercédès, after the daughter of Emil Jellinek. The Austrian businessman, who lived in Nice, traded in Daimler vehicles and registered them for racing events.
Mercedes Jellinek (1889 to 1929), on a Mercedes Grand-Prix racing car from 1906.
To this day, Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive brand that bears a female name.
From then on, the curved “Mercédès” lettering adorned the radiators of Daimler passenger cars. The name was registered as a trademark on June 23rd 1902 and legally protected on September 26th 1902.
Since then, the brand name – which was changed to Mercedes-Benz after the merger of the Daimler and Benz companies in June 1926 – has been both an expression of and a commitment to luxury and innovation.
Mercedes-Simplex 40 HP from 1903. One of the oldest surviving vehicles belonging to the Mercedes brand.
The first vehicle with this melodious Spanish name – the Mercedes 35 HP – caused a sensation at the Nice race week as early as March 1901. This was not only because of its highly advanced technology – allowing it to win several races there – but also because of its exceptionally elegant design. The Mercedes 35 HP is regarded as the prototype of the modern automobile - far more advanced than the original Benz Patent-Motorwagen which came just five years before.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex concept from 2019, built to celebrate the anniversary of the brand name.
With its progressive vehicle architecture and "modern" technology, the 35 HP became a model for the entire automobile industry in the years to come.
Happy Birthday Mercedes!