Founded in 1886, Mercedes-Benz is a brand that is associated with the utmost in automobile luxury and class. The company’s founder, Karl Benz, received the financing to start this now renowned international car company from his wife Bertha. The brand has flourished into one of the most recognizable in the global auto industry.
As storied as Mercedes-Benz is, it still possesses secrets and little-known facts that amaze people who are fans of the company and its automobiles. You may become more of a fan yourself by learning about five facts you did not know about Mercedes-Benz.
One of the most well-kept secrets of Mercedes-Benz is the fact that the company hires a slew of inspectors to closely scrutinize every detail of every car that it makes. In fact, there is one inspector for every 11 production workers in every Mercedes-Benz factory around the world.
The inspector assigned to the 11 workers under his or her stead is paid to look closely for any sign of defects or damages before the car comes off the production line. By the time each car is finished and ready to be shipped out to a dealership, it will have undergone literally thousands of inspections to guarantee its quality and luxury.
The Use of Welding
Another relatively unknown fact about Mercedes-Benz vehicles is that the company uses only welding rather than bolts in the creation of its cars. Each car will have been welded in over 10,000 different places before it reaches the end of the production line.
The avoidance of using bolts spares this brand’s vehicles from disrepair and deterioration due to bolts coming loose as found in other brands’ vehicles. Welding also helps the vehicles avoid signs of aging like squeaking, rattling, and groaning that can come with the use of bolts.
After a Mercedes-Benz vehicle is welded in over 10,000 different places on its body, it then undergoes extensive grinding by hand. Vital seams located on and inside of the vehicle are ground by hand and then repeatedly packed with pewter.
After the seams are packed with pewter, they are again ground down by hand until they are no longer distinguishable. This hand grinding guarantees a high level of workmanship and close attention to detail.
The Three-point Logo
Mercedes-Benz’s three-point logo is well-known around the world. People associate the three-point logo with this brand as well as the luxury, class, and price found with the vehicles made by the company.
The three points of the logo stand for land, water, and air. In 1909, however, company leaders registered a four-point logo for Mercedes-Benz with the fourth point standing for space. In fact, Mercedes-Benz actually created a spaceship, albeit it one that did not work and could not fly.
Nonetheless, the four-point logo was vetoed in favor of the three-point one that is so well-known today. The four-point logo did make an appearance in the comedy movie Spaceballs, however. It was mounted on the hood of the spaceship used by that movie’s Princess Leah. The spaceship in the movie was a Mercedes-Benz SEL limited edition vehicle.
Finally, Mercedes-Benz garners worldwide attention for having made numerous vehicles for the pope and the Holy See. These vehicles, which are now dubbed Popemobiles, are used exclusively by the pope and owned by the Holy See itself.
The first Popemobile that Mercedes-Benz made was a Nurburg 460, which was accepted and used by Pope Pius XI in 1930. The company also made a Mercedes-Benz 230G in 1980 for the pope. This vehicle became instantly recognizable for its transparent carriage in which the pope sits as he is driven among the crowds who come to see him.
The most recent Popemobile made by Mercedes-Benz was an ML 430 with special bodywork. This vehicle was crafted especially for Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day. It featured a V8 engine with a displacement of 4.3 liters and had an output of 272 horsepower.
These five little known facts about Mercedes-Benz solidify its reputation as a maker of high-class luxury vehicles. The brand continues to enjoy a favorable impression with car fans around the world.