Where did the name Mercedes come from?
Mercedes-Benz has a very complicated history that involves a lot of collaboration and a lot of name changes. Even today, the company is trigger-happy on changing names. For example, the GLK-Class just became the GLC, the GL-Class is turning into the GLS, and the M-Class is dead to the GLE. To figure out where all this nonsense comes from, we travel all the way back to 1902 when Mercedes-Benz received its first name change. If you are already a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, you are probably familiar with names like Daimler, Benz, and Maybach, but where did the name Mercedes come from?
This is where the company all started. In 1890, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach engineered and sold the world’s first four-cylinder street cars that came from the factory read to go . Unfortunately for him, Daimler died 10 years after founding the company, but his name lives on as one of the most important in Mercedes-Benz history.
Wilhelm Maybach served as Daimler’s chief engineer and designed the car that was purchased by the father of the 11-year-old girl that inspired the name Mercedes. Maybach is now synonymous with vehicles that cost a quarter of a million dollars. The name represents the most in luxury in the automotive industry and all started at the beginning of Daimler in 1890.
Mercedes-Jellinek was the daughter of Emil Jillinek. Much like how AMG started, Emil would purchase Daimler vehicles, modify them, and race them. After establishing credibility, Emil began to work with Wilhelm Maybach to design cars that delivered more performance and reliability. In 1900, the first Mercedes was born. It was a name given to a car that Jellinek modified and it came from his daughter, Mercedes. It had 35 horsepower and was considered to be one of the world’s first “modern cars”.
Karl Benz is probably one of the most famous names associated with Mercedes-Benz. While Daimler was working on its line of cars, Karl Benz was doing the same thing. Karl Benz is wildly credited with inventing the combustion engine and is one of the greatest automotive engineers of all time. Benz merged with Daimler in 1926 to create the brand Mercedes-Benz, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It is a little funny that the name Mercedes, not Daimler or Maybach, became the face of the brand because although Emil Jellinek had a lot to do with what the brand has become, his daughter Mercedes had nothing to do with it! It makes you wonder what Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach would think about it. If you want to learn more about Mercedes-Benz, keep reading our blog!