On June 28, 1926 representatives of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and Benz & Cie. signed the agreement for the merger of the two oldest automobile manufacturers in the world. This marked the birth of Daimler AG and its globally renowned trademark: the three pointed star inside a laurel wreath. The merger created the foundation for the present-day Daimler corporation. This alone shows the sustainable staying power of the historic merger.
Stuttgart. The economic conditions in Germany after the First World War were difficult. The same applied to the automobile industry and affected even prestigious companies like DMG and Benz & Cie. – "Germany's two oldest and largest automobile factories", as stated in the public announcement of the merger in 1926. In the year before the merger, the two companies had already produced almost 6,000 automobiles with a workforce of more than 15,000 people and revenues of around 104 million Reichsmark.
The close collaboration between the companies played a great role in their future survival. The key words were: a standardized model range and joint development, design, production and sales. The manufacturers gradually became more closely aligned. They both have their roots in the year 1886. At that time, Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the automobile independently from one another. Three decades later, the two companies were still business competitors with clearly distinguishable brands. In 1926, the two companies merged together – initially with a registered commercial office in Berlin and factories in Mannheim and Gaggenau (Benz), Untertürkheim, Berlin-Marienfelde and Sindelfingen (Daimler). The main administration of Daimler-Benz AG was located in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim from the very start. The merger was based on an Agreement of Mutual Interest that had been signed two years previously in May 1924 and led to a joint sales company as early as in 1925.
The star rises
The merger was symbolized by the new brand logo of Mercedes-Benz, which was registered as a new trademark in February 1925. It connected the Mercedes star of Daimler with the laurel wreath of Benz. The two original trademarks originated in the year 1909 and were continuously further developed until 1926. This was how the two companies began to hone up their presence in the signs system of the automobile industry at an early stage. In the early advertisements and other publications of Daimler-Benz AG, the former logos were therefore frequently shown together with the new brand name of Mercedes-Benz.
Shortly after the merger, the stronger company structure proved its merit during the Great Depression and world economic crisis at the end of the 1920s. In addition to the synergy effect and the return to greater manufacturing depth, this was made possible primarily through the newly established model policy, which led to the creation of more compact vehicles like the innovative Mercedes-Benz 170 (W 15) in 1931.