Author Archives: Thomas Kase

While today about 2.2 billion people celebrate the 2013th birthday (or thereabouts) of their religion’s founder, this year, those who cover the manufacturing industry are celebrating a century and a quarter of the American automobile.

This is a story about Daimler, later Mercedes, of course. But did you know that there once was an American Mercedes company?

125 years ago, Gottlieb Daimler and William Steinway established the Daimler Motor Company in New York with the help of German-born William Steinway (of musical instrument fame) who had convinced Gottlieb Daimler to build Mercedes cars here in the USA.

american mercedes ad

With a top speed of around 14 mph, the first production models of American Mercedes hit the “roads” in 1905 – demanding a princely sum of $10,000 which, considering inflation since 1905, would cost around $263,000 in 2013.

That price tag is probably about the same that a fully optioned Designo edition of the V12-powered S65 AMG will fetch in 2015.

silver mercedes on road

The V8-powered 2013 S63 shown above starts at around a “mere” $150,000. Either car, if unrestricted, is capable of speeds over 200 mph.

If you have an original American Mercedes from 1905, you can probably trade it for a few of the new cars…which would make quite a sweet Christmas gift to yourself.

Read more here, and Merry Christmas from MetalMiner!

Thomas Kase, lead analyst for MetalMiner’s sister site Spend Matters, is also our resident auto buff.

dieter zetsche mercedes S coupe

Dieter and the S-class coupe. Image still from youtube.com

Mercedes Benz joins Google in the driverless car conversation, and with their top position in the auto market, what’s to stop them?

In August, Mercedes-Benz again saw double-digit growth in the US and China (including Hong Kong). In Germany, the US and Japan, the Mercedes-Benz continued to be the most registered premium manufacturer since the beginning of the year.

To celebrate, it’s car-show time!

At the IAA auto show in Frankfurt, Germany, Mercedes-Benz’ CEO Dieter Zetsche joked that “promises are like babies, easy to make, hard to deliver” on the topic of improving cars. A female assistant started up their 1886 (replica, presumably) three-wheeler on stage and drove off – an homage of sorts to Karl Benz’ wife Bertha, who was the first long-distance driver in the world.

This prelude eventually led to MB’s new (concept) “Intelligent Drive” version of the 2014 S500, which was driven the same 104-km stretch of road that Mrs. Benz originally covered around 125 years ago – but without human driver input this time. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic – as Arthur C. Clarke said – and Zetsche’s comment around the new technologies being magic is no great exaggeration.

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