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How “Mercedes” was born

June 30, 2003
This is the example of how a simple systemic transformation caused a breakthrough in car manufacturing.

First cars were carriages equipped with an engine and control system. Those cars were very high, the driver and passengers sat on top, and the engine was placed in the center. That is why they were not stable enough, which often caused accidents.
“I drove 30 km an hours, what a folly!” These words belong to the winner of one of car races of those distant times. They vividly describe the technical characteristics of the cars.
Engineers Deimler and Benz, who later created a world-known “Deimler-Benz” concern, took an active part in designing and testing cars, as well as in racing. In 1899, during a race, a certain gentleman came up to Deimler automobile and introduced himself as Emile Jellinek, consul, Czech by nationality.
Jellinek was remote from technological matters, but he asked why the automobile layout was so irrational. And he proposed to arrange the main units horizontally one after another the engine in the front part of the automobile and the cabin with passengers immediately after the engine. That promised an abrupt decrease in the automobile height and improvement of its stability.
Deimler quickly built such a car, the famous “Model 35PSD”. The race results outreached his most optimistic expectations his two cars that participated in the mountain race from Nice to Kastelleine won the first and the second prize traveling with the maximal speed of 80 km/hr.
It was a great success, and Deimler invited Jellinek to be their partner. But Elinek was reach enough, had his own interests and purposes in life, so he gave up that proposal. He only required that all the cars to be manufactured by Deimler take the name from his daughter Mercedes Jellinek, by way of compensation.


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Authors: Nikolay Shpakovsky, Elena Novitskaya