Mercedes-Benz hit a significant production milestone this year. They just rolled out their 50 millionth car from the post-war era. Care to guess what that model could be?
But before we give out the answer, let's first take a look at the brand's most iconic and significant cars from the past 75 years.
Mercedes-Benz's first post-war car was the W136, more commonly known as the 170V. It initially came out in the 1930s, but its production was halted during World War II. In 1946, the automaker dusted off the remains of its tooling and resumed assembly. It would be the car that would help Mercedes-Benz get back on its feet.
Fast forward to the '50s and Mercedes-Benz would come out with innovative models of the era that would later become icons and sought-after classics. These include the Ponton, the SL Roadster, the Fintail, and, of course, the 300SL Gullwing.
The automaker expanded their range in the '60s by adding more models in the Fintail line-up, along with the introduction of the second-generation SL. The 1963 SL later got the nickname “Mr. Slim” in the Philippines thanks to its appearance in Mr. Slim cigarettes in the '70s. They also introduced the 600 Große, the W108, and W114 during the decade.
On to the '70s and it was the introduction of the third-generation SL. It was also the decade that saw the first use of the S-Class for their flagship sedans. Another memorable model from the decade was the W123, the quintessential Mercedes-Benz of the era. Towards the end of the '70s, they also introduced the second-generation S-Class and the first G-Wagen.
The '80s saw sweeping changes for Mercedes-Benz. The need for a smaller, more fuel-efficient model led to the birth of the 190, the first Baby Benz. That model also set the footprint for the brand's design language, as seen in the larger (and just as iconic) W124 that would later be dubbed as the E-Class. Then, in 1989, the fourth-generation SL arrived with a revolutionary redesign, putting it leap years ahead of its predecessor.
By the '90s, the company explored adding more tech and innovations in their models. The 1991 S-Class boasted features that are now common in luxury cars, and they were also among the first to boost small capacity engines for more power and efficiency. Today, downsized turbo engines are the norm, but Mercedes-Benz started that as early as the '90s. Of course, let's not forget the 1996 E-Class that had the distinct four-headlight arrangement.
Now, let's jump back to the present. So, what's their 50 millionth post-war model? It's none other than the all-new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. They didn't say what's under the hood of this special Maybach, but it's safe to say it's packing a lot of luxuries inside. It's also fitting that it rolled off their newest factory in Sindelfingen, Factory 56.
As for their future model timeline, the German automaker says that they will add more electric vehicles to their line-up. By 2022, a total of six new Mercedes-EQ models will have been integrated into running series production operations, says the company.
These days, Mercedes-Benz has a wide selection of models from subcompact crossovers to palaces on wheels. By expanding its horizons, Mercedes-Benz maintains their lead in the luxury car market by a substantial margin.
For the fifth year in a row, the German automaker retained its top spot as the world's top-selling luxury brand. In 2020, they shifted 2,164,187 units, securing their place in the global luxury vehicle sales. By comparison, BMW saw 2,028,659 cars and crossovers finding new homes in 2020. Meanwhile, Audi sold 1,692,773 units last year.