by Philipp Deppe | 21.November 2014
Mercedes-Benz Cars expands the international presence of its procurement organization with extended responsibility for supplier quality and thereby safeguards the Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy from the procurement perspective.
“We need the most innovative and capable suppliers worldwide. Our growth strategy offers them outstanding prospects,” says Dr. Klaus Zehender, Divisional Board Member Procurement and Supplier Quality Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Particularly in growth regions, we develop capable and competitive suppliers as new partners. At the same time, our long-standing suppliers have the opportunity to grow along with our global production and procurement network.” The department Procurement and Supplier Quality Mercedes-Benz Cars with some 1,400 employees worldwide is responsible for an annual purchasing volume in the two-digit billion euros range.
The first Mercedes-Benz model benefiting from the increased international footprint is the new C-Class. The sedan of Mercedes-Benz’ highest-volume model series is produced on four continents for the first time. The production network consists of the German lead plant in Bremen, the South African plant in East London, the U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa/Alabama and the Chinese production location BBAC in Beijing. The international plants are supplied to a high degree with parts from local suppliers. “Procurement close to production makes an important contribution to reaching the economic goals. With the new C-Class, we have further increased localization in China and South Africa compared to the previous model, and in the NAFTA region we have reached a high localization ratio from the start,” says Zehender.
In China, the so-called local content ratio of vehicle and engine production at the BBAC plant in Beijing now stands at around 60 percent. Until today, some 250 local suppliers have been successfully developed, and among the ten largest Mercedes-Benz suppliers in China are three purely Chinese companies. The local content ratio at the U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, where the new C-Class is the first sedan built along with the traditional SUV production portfolio, currently stands at around 60 percent, and local procurement in South Africa will further approach that dimension – calculated comparably – as well. In general, there are no abstract target ratios for localization. Instead, the optimum for each part – in terms of parts price, logistic cost and tooling cost – needs to be achieved through local or global contract awarding.
The procurement locations in China, the U.S. and South Africa are playing an important role in increasing localization. Their tasks and responsibilities were strengthened: as so-called hubs, their comprehensive scope extends from the identification and development of new suppliers, supplier management to the quality of purchased parts. Zehender: “We are deepening our understanding of the local markets with the procurement hubs, and we are leveraging the expertise of our local partners – in China for example in our joint venture BBAC. Altogether, we will even better be able to utilize market potentials from components to raw materials.” MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 20.November 2014
Mercedes-Benz is in the fast lane. This is according to the readers of the German specialist motoring magazine “Auto Zeitung”, who have chosen the three latest Mercedes models as the best cars in their class. As a result, the AMG GT, the C-Class and also the S-Class have been awarded the “Auto Trophy 2014″ in recognition of their top rankings.
Once again this year, as in the previous year, the Mercedes-Benz star has shone particularly brightly in the poll conducted by motoring magazine “Auto Zeitung” for the “Auto Trophy 2014″. This time the readers voted the Mercedes-Benz C-Class the best mid-series vehicle, while in the luxury car segment the S-Class took top honours. And when it came to sports cars, it was the Mercedes-AMG GT which crossed the finish line in first place.
Developed fully in house by Mercedes-AMG, the AMG GT achieves true race track performance and thus a highly dynamic driving experience thanks to its front mid-engine design, intelligent aluminium lightweight construction and also its AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine rated at up to 375 kW (510 hp). At the same time the super sports car provides high suitability for everyday use and high levels of efficiency.
The C-Class won favour with the readers with its modern, aesthetic design, high-class interior and also cutting-edge technology. Among its features it boasts exemplary safety and high efficiency, and shines with impressively sporty and agile handling. MORE »
Mercedes-Benz at Auto Guangzhou and the 2014 LA Auto Show: World Premiere of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
by Philipp Deppe | 19.November 2014
The world’s best automobile in its most exclusive form: It was with this statement that the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class made its debut on the eve of Auto Guangzhou 2014. At the world premiere in South China’s economic powerhouse, Mercedes-Benz presented the flagship model in its new sub-brand, which stands for the very highest exclusivity and unparalleled comfort – the Mercedes-Maybach S 600.
It rides on a wheelbase that is 20 centimetres longer than the long-wheelbase S-Class and is driven by a 390 kW (530 hp) V12 engine. It also has the quietest rear seat of any production limousine in the world. A few hours after the world premiere in Guangzhou, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class also roll into the spotlight of the Los Angeles Auto Show. China and the USA are the two most important markets for the S-Class.
“With the combination of the very highest exclusivity, unparalleled comfort and state-of-the-art technology, the new Mercedes-Maybach S 600 represents the absolute pinnacle within the top automotive segment. It enables us to fulfil the wishes of the world’s most demanding automobile customers,” says Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Daimler AG, responsible for China Activities. Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Sales & Marketing: “Our new sub-brand stands for prestigious exclusivity and is aimed at particularly status-conscious customers. From China in particular, we have noted customer demand for us to offer a particularly exclusive and spacious variant of the best automobile in the world.”
Mercedes-Maybach S 600: The New Leading Light in the Top Segment
As the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz line-up and leading light in the segment, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class fulfils the very highest demands for luxury and comfort. Market introduction begins in February 2015 with the S 600 top model, which comes with a 390 kW (530 hp) 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine with a maximum torque of 830 Nm. The new prestigious limousine also boasts an exceptionally low level of wind noise, making the rear seat the quietest in the world in a production limousine.
The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has been conceived specifically for chauffeured driving and offers not only all the comforts of the normal S-Class, but also a full range of exclusive equipment details. Thanks to a wheelbase that is 20 centimetres longer than that of the long-wheelbase S-Class, the Mercedes‑Maybach S 600 comes as standard with two Executive Seats in the rear. In combination with the Chauffeur Package, which is likewise standard, they enable a reclined position that sets new benchmarks in the automotive sector when it comes to resting and sleeping comfort. An all-new function that emphasises the positioning of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class as a chauffeur-driven vehicle is the voice amplification that eases communication between driver and rear-seat passengers.
The high quality standards of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are impressively evident in the selection and crafting of premium materials. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 18.November 2014
Relaxing travel lounge or mobile office: the luxury saloon of the future will provide the option of autonomous driving, offering people totally new freedoms. In future, the car will take on more than ever the character of an individual retreat in urban traffic.
Mercedes-Benz provided a virtual preview of what the future holds with an innovative interior concept for an autonomous luxury vehicle presented at the TecDay “Autonomous Mobility”. The trailblazing “interior of the future” also demonstrates new dimensions in communication and interaction with the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz has already turned the vision of autonomous driving into reality with the S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE and the Future Truck 2025, and is now pursuing its work on concrete ideas for the future shape of autonomous driving.
Autonomous vehicles will be commonplace and socially accepted in the cities of the future. This new dimension in mobility will be accompanied by social and technical changes. With the new luxury-class interior concept, the car of the future will be more than purely a means of transport – rather, it will become a variable and private area of retreat in increasingly dense urban traffic. By virtue of this new form of travel, the occupants of autonomous vehicles will have the freedom to put their time spent travelling to even more varied use.
“We are convinced that autonomous driving will be a central factor on the way to comfortable, accident-free driving,” says Prof. Dr Herbert Kohler, Head of Corporate Research & Sustainability and Chief Environmental Officer for Daimler AG. “Autonomous driving relieves pressure and stress in driving situations usually regarded as tedious – for example in tailbacks, in inner-city areas or on long journeys. At the same time, it opens up new ways in which people can make the best use of their time on the road.” Kohler adds: “The time spent in the car acquires a totally new quality. This is in keeping with the growing desire for privacy and individuality in a crowded and hectic urban environment.”
Elegant and comfortable: mobile living space as a luxury lounge
In Sunnyvale, California, Mercedes-Benz is presenting an outlook on the future with an interior concept for an autonomous luxury saloon as a virtual 360° experience. For the design of the interior the engineers, designers and futurologists have evolved an interdisciplinary scenario and thought through the freedoms that autonomous driving brings: more space, more time, more ways to interact. At the same time, the interior reflects the typical Mercedes interpretation of “Modern Luxury” – generous, elegant and intuitive. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 17.November 2014
A whole new family of six smart versions in the space of a few weeks. With the 45 kW entry-level variants of the smart fortwo and smart forfour and the 66 kW top-of-the-range engine version also on board the forfour, in future there will be a choice of six different smart versions. The new smart models will be available for ordering from 17 November with prices beginning at €10,335 – five days before the very first smarts of the new generation make their way to customers on 22 November. Delivery of the three new smart models will begin in January 2015.
Even in the entry-level version the smart fortwo and smart forfour come with a comprehensive scope of safety and comfort equipment. This includes LED daytime driving lights, central locking with radio remote control, visual locking-verification signal and immobiliser, cruise control with limiter (variable speed limitation), exterior temperature indicator with frost warning, instrument cluster with monochrome LCD display and trip computer, and electric windows at the front. And the basic scope of equipment for the new smart models already includes the Direct-Steer system with variable ratio and electric power assistance. All of the new generation smarts additionally comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard.
Practical equipment combinations: the packages
passion, prime and proxy are the names of the three lines which serve to upgrade the smart fortwo and smart forfour and provide for differentiation, particularly in the interior. Their features include a leather multifunction steering wheel, an instrument cluster with 3.5-inch TFT colour display and heated seats.
smart has combined various comfort and safety features in five practical packages:
Building on the lines, the Sports package (€5751) underscores the car’s dynamism on both a technical and visual level. Lowering the vehicle by 10 millimetres lowers the centre of gravity for even better roadholding. The Sports package is a standard feature of the proxy line and is available as an option for passion and prime.
The LED & Sensor package (€5101) comprises headlamps with welcome function and daytime driving lights featuring LED fibre-optic technology, LED tail lamps and front fog lamps. The rain and light sensor combines comfort and safety, activating the windscreen wipers and headlamps as necessary. Standard in conjunction with passion, prime and proxy.
With the Comfort package (€2701) every driver can find the perfect seating position. The driver’s seat and steering column are height-adjustable, the door mirrors are electrically adjustable.
The Cool & Audio package (€11001) provides a perfect temperature at all times, great sound, telephony and navigation. The automatic climate control includes an integral combined filter which almost completely eliminates pollen and fine dust. The audio system comprises Bluetooth telephony and navigation, the latter in combination with a smartphone and the separately available free smart cross connect app. The Cool & Audio package features as standard for the proxy.
The Cool & Media package with automatic climate control and combined filter guarantees a cool head in clean air free of pollen. The smart media system comes up trumps with the 17.8 cm (7-inch) multi-touch display which supports swiping gestures and the quick navigation including traffic information. This package is available in conjunction with passion, prime (€1700) and proxy (€6701).
Further upgrade options: optional equipment
In addition to the equipment lines and the packages, numerous optional equipment features are available for the new smart generation. A highlight is the JBL Soundsystem (€545/595), which produces an impressively full sound. The JBL Soundsystem incorporates a 6-channel DSP amplifier (240 watt) in the fortwo and an 8-channel DSP amplifier (320 watt) on board the forfour. A total of eight (fortwo) or twelve (for four) high-performance loudspeakers provide for outstanding sound quality: one wideband centre loudspeaker, two tweeters in the mirror triangle, two lower mid-range speakers in the doors (on the for four additionally in the rear doors), two wideband rear-fill loudspeakers and a removable woofer on the left-hand side of the luggage compartment. MORE »
Successful 2014 Season for SLS AMG GT3 Customer Teams in 2014: Six Titles and 34 Successes for the SLS AMG GT3
by Philipp Deppe | 16.November 2014
In the 2014 motorsports season, AMG Customer Sport teams again achieved numerous victories with the SLS AMG GT3. Currently, there are over 40 teams worldwide starting with the race gullwings.
In the finale of the Japanese Super GT SERIES GT300, which took place this weekend at Twin Ring Motegi, the team GAINER achieved race victory in a heart-stopping finale. Björn Wirdheim (SWE) and Katsuyuki Hiranaka (JPN) won a great first position with the GAINER DIXCEL SLS with a lead of one lap to the second best and thus won the team championship of the Super GT SERIES GT300 for the AMG Customer Sports team GAINER. In the driver ranking, they achieved the same number of points as the new champions, who were able to win the drivers’ title of the Super GT SERIES GT300 because of the better placements in the season. The sister car, the GAINER Rn-SPORTS SLS with Masayuki Ueda and Hideki Yamauchi (both JPN), won the fifth overall position. The LEON SLS with Haruki Kurosawa and Tsubasa Kurosawa (both JPN) ended the race on the sixth position. The AMG Customer Sports team R´Qs MOTORSPORTS crossed the finish line with the GREENTEC SLS AMG GT3, piloted by Hisashi Wada and Masaki Jyonai (both JPN), on the overall position 14.
This Sunday, the team Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy achieved a sensational double victory in the GT Cup as part of the 61st Macao Grand Prix. Maro Engel (GER) and Renger van der Zande (NED) won the race on positions one and two. Having started from positions four and six, the two drivers performed a perfect start. Already in the first turn of the city track they took on the double lead and defended it until they crossed the finish line. Takeshi Tsuchiya (JPN) and Carlo van Dam (NED) of the team AAI Motorsports came home 14th and 16th.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “We are again looking back to a successful motorsports year. What AMG Customer Sport teams achieved in the 2014 season with great commitment and lots of passion, deserves our highest acknowledgement. My congratulations to all customer teams and drivers for the achieved motorsports successes. I also want to thank all employees in Affalterbach, who have contributed to many victories.”
Jochen Bitzer, Head of AMG Customer Sports: “I want to thank all teams and drivers for a successful year. Six titles, 34 victories and two first places as well as numerous podium positions in endurance races again demonstrate the high reliability and competitiveness of the SLS AMG GT3. Also in the fourth year of our Customer Sports Program, the race gullwing achieved numerous successes around the globe. In order to offer our customer teams a good basis for further sporty successes, we are going to extend the support in a targeted way in 2015 and are already looking forward to the new season.”
Since the beginning of the AMG Customer Sports Program in the end of 2010, the SLS AMG GT3 achieved no fewer than 182 overall victories, 98 pole positions and 930 top 10 positions. In the 2014 motorsports season, the race gullwing started in 19 race series as well as 9 endurance races on four continents. To this day, more than 80 vehicles were sold on the globe. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 15.November 2014
Bonhams returns! On 28 March 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, the tradition-steeped London auction house Bonhams will for the second time be selling off original classic cars made by Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands.
This marks a continuation of the successful cooperation between Bonhams and Mercedes-Benz Classic from July 2014.
“Unique and authentic vehicles – that’s what characterises and unites Mercedes-Benz and Bonhams. A key role in our shared philosophy is played by the concept of originality,” explains Michael Bock, Director of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Customer Centre. “After this year’s successful auction, we wish once again in 2015 to provide a suitable stage for Bonhams. Not only collectors, but also museum visitors will have an opportunity next spring to relive the fun of the auction at Mercedes-Benz Classic.”
This year’s auction in July 2014 brought in total sales of almost 12 million euros, with over 70 percent of the 40 vehicles on offer changing owner. A Mercedes-Benz 500 K/540 K from 1934 fetched 3.1 million euros alone. One of the special highlights of this year’s auction in July was the DTM vehicle in which Mika Häkkinen won the 2005 DTM race in Spa-Francorchamps. The racing car was sold for 460,000 euros. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 14.November 2014
150 new smarts on 1300 square metres: at Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway, the smart model change has already taken place. A good week before the launch of the real smart on 22 November the mini fleet has been replaced.
A total of 90 new fortwos and 60 new forfours are deployed in the whole miniature layout – for example, at Knuffingen airport, at the smart dealership, on a car train and a truck transporter. At the same time the first car2go fleet is being launched in Miniatur Wunderland.
Knuffingen, one of the oldest and most important towns in Miniatur Wunderland with around 10,000 inhabitants, is known for its traffic jams and lack of parking spaces. The new smart generation will relieve the strain on the idyllic town located between the Harz region and the Alps. Because with a length of just three and four centimetres respectively, the new smart fortwo and the new smart forfour are ideally designed to fit into any parking space. The fortwo even has a turning circle of less than eight centimetres. “We in Knuffingen appreciate the little things”, says Frederik Braun, first mayor of Knuffingen and co-founder of Wunderland. “But we don’t give them preferential treatment”, he warns in view of the enhanced driving fun. “So please don’t exceed the speed limit in the new smart either.” Because the Knuffingen police are after speeders: speed cameras are located below Schlossberg.
Braun says that it is often travellers who are in a hurry: after a construction period of more than six years Knuffingen airport opened in 2011. Today the airport is a worldwide hub thanks to its proximity to Switzerland and with 40 different aircraft types taking off and landing. The new smart models are also deployed at Knuffingen airport.
car2go customers can now also simply pull up and fly off: they can return their car2go smart at Knuffingen airport and set off on holiday without having to worry about high parking charges whilst they’re away – just like in real life. The first car sharing fleet is being launched in Miniatur Wunderland with 50 new car2go smarts. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 13.November 2014
Light pioneer Mercedes-Benz offers a preview of what the future holds:
instead of the 24 LEDs of the gridded high beam module in the CLS headlamp, 84 LEDs per headlamp will soon be providing for even better light quality and even greater safety at night. In the medium term, as many as 1024 pixels per LED will enable optimum illumination of the road at every speed and in all traffic conditions – and without dazzling other road users.
These advances in light technology form part of a continuing tradition: around 500 LEDs attended to all the lighting functions on a car for the first time on the S-Class in 2013. In 2014 the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps on the new CLS-Class raised the benchmark once again with their precision LED light grid modules. The statistics show just how important such precision lights are: at night-time, the risk of accidents increases drastically. Five times as many pedestrians are killed on country roads as during the daytime. Although night-time driving on country roads accounts for only 20 percent of total mileage, 40 percent of all fatal accidents occur here during the night (source: BASt, German Federal Office for Roads and Traffic).
Over 120 years of headlamp technology at Mercedes-Benz stand for ongoing progress in the interests of enhanced road safety and the introduction of innovations to benefit the company’s customers and other road users.
“Enabling ideal visibility in all driving situations without dazzling other road users has always been our credo in developing new light systems,” observes Uwe Kostanzer, head of light systems development at Mercedes-Benz. “We are pursuing the further development of LED technology to this end.”
The added safety provided by the MULTIBEAM LED technology becomes apparent above all in real traffic situations: in contrast to static high beam systems, some of which have long ranges, MULTIBEAM LED also supports the driver when there are other vehicles in the field illuminated by the headlamps. By means of totally independent control of the individual LEDs of the gridded light source, the MULTIBEAM LED headlamp is able to mask other road users out of its light distribution in a fraction of a second, thereby enabling high beam to remain on. This assures the driver of the best possible light performance at all times, without dazzling other road users.
In the near future, Mercedes-Benz will be incorporating an additional HIGH RANGE LED high beam into its LED headlamps. This additional high beam employs state-of-the-art high-performance LEDs to provide high beam ranges of over 600 m in driving situations without any oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead. In contrast to the current “laser headlamps”, LED technology achieves this performance at markedly lower costs and with a manageable degree of complexity. At the same time, it also enables Mercedes-Benz to exploit the legally permissible level of illumination in Europe virtually to the full. This applies irrespective of the light source employed in the headlamp for all manufacturers.
Mercedes-Benz expands brand world and introduces new nomenclature: Mercedes-Maybach for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality
by Philipp Deppe | 12.November 2014
The Mercedes-Benz brand continues its dynamic progress. Two new arrivals in the Mercedes-Benz brand world were introduced today in Sindelfingen by Ola Källenius, member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Marketing & Sales, and Dr Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Communications for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.
With the name Mercedes-Maybach, the brand represented by the three-pointed star is now broadening its offering in the exclusive top segment of the market with a new sub-brand, whose individual and prestigious exclusivity will appeal to status-conscious customers. Before the end of this November, the new Mercedes-Maybach S 600 will be celebrating its world premiere in Guangzhou and Los Angeles. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class melds the perfection of the best automobile in the world, the S-Class, with the exclusivity of Maybach. In a further move, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer of premium automobiles will start 2015 by launching a new nomenclature, the system used for the designation of its various model series and engine types, so providing its customers with a simple and transparent way to find their bearings around its ever-growing portfolio of models.
“The Mercedes-Benz brand stands for the aspiration to deliver ‘The best’ in terms of products, technology and services. For us, this means that we offer our customers vehicles that, by virtue of their different characteristics and specific flair, are able to fit in with all sorts of individual lifestyles. In the S-Class segment in particular, customers have very high expectations with regard to exclusivity and individuality. Mercedes-Maybach enables us to fulfil these desires in the exclusive top segment of the market”, says Ola Källenius, member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Marketing & Sales.
Mercedes-Maybach embodies “the best” in its most exclusive form
In 2013 Mercedes-Benz launched its new S-Class, the best car in the world. No other vehicle embodies the values of Mercedes-Benz in quite the same way as the S-Class. The scope offered by the S-Class model range is already considerable, even though its expansion from three to six model variants is not yet complete. The spectrum ranges from the sportiest S-Class of all time, the Mercedes-AMG S 63, the most efficient, the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID (in future S 500 e) and the most intelligent, the S 500 Intelligent Drive, through to the most beautiful S-Class of all time, the S-Class Coupé. When it comes to safety, assistance systems and partially autonomous driving, the S-Class is way ahead of the competition.
The S-Class is not only the best vehicle, but also the most successful car in its class. With more than 100,000 units sold in its first full year of availability, it is even the best-selling S-Class ever. This success has been accompanied by a desire expressed by many customers for yet more individuality and exclusivity. They would like to drive the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in a highly exclusive and individual version that will allow them to stand out even further in this top segment. In the same way as it did with the sporty positioning of Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Benz has now therefore established a new offering in the exclusive top segment by introducing a sub-brand with the name Mercedes-Maybach.
The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which will celebrate its world premiere before the end of November, marks the opening of a new chapter in the history of the brand known by its three-pointed star. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class expands the current range of S-Class Saloons with the addition of a vehicle that sets a new benchmark for exclusivity and meets even the most discerning of requirements in terms of its appointments. Some of the features that distinguish it from the standard-production models include extra spaciousness, special seats and lavishly designed, prestigious interiors offering extensive scope for individualisation. As a result, Mercedes-Maybach vehicles meet the requirements of even the most discerning customers worldwide. Mercedes‑Maybach is not an equipment line – it is a sub-brand that in future will deliver Mercedes-Benz vehicles in an even more exclusive form. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 11.November 2014
Spectacular conclusion to a memorable sporting year: On Saturday, November 29th, fans and VIP guests will join Mercedes-Benz in celebrating the 2014 sporting year at Stars & Cars.
The event: The 16th edition of Stars & Cars will once again be staged in and around the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. A temporary 1.1 km show track, on which fans can see modern and classic Mercedes-Benz racing cars in action, as they stage demonstration runs, will be especially constructed for the event. Stars & Cars, 2014 at a glance:
- 22 demonstration runs of various kinds
- 30 marshals
- 67 current and historic racing cars
- 200 security personnel
- 550 metres of concrete barriers and guardrails
- 1,100 metres of temporary show track around the Mercedes-Benz Museum
- 3,300 metres of barriers
The programme: Admission is free for all visitors. A comprehensive and entertaining programme for fans will include pit stop competitions, autograph signing sessions and interviews. The event begins at 10:00 am on Saturday. Spectators can follow the interviews on three video screens to be erected on the main stage, on the stage by the track and at the roundabout.
- Official start of the event at 10:00 am
- 22 motorcades throughout the day, starting at 10:10 am
- Interviews with Formula 1 and DTM drivers
- Interviews with Dr Dieter Zetsche, Martin Kaymer, Joachim Löw, Oliver Bierhoff
- Performances by Mr Santos + band
The guests: Many more current and former racing drivers will be among the guests at Stars & Cars apart from the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 and DTM drivers. Professional golfer Martin Kaymer, football coach Joachim Löw and Oliver Bierhoff, manager of the German national football team, will also be present. The following personalities are among the guests expected:
- Roland Asch (successful touring car driver, 5 DTM wins with Mercedes-Benz)
- Valtteri Bottas (Formel 1 driver at Williams Mercedes)
- Oliver Bierhoff (manager of the German national football squad)
- Hans Herrmann (motor racing legend, successful Mercedes Silver Arrows driver, 1954/55)
- Martin Kaymer (golf pro, Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador)
- Ellen Lohr (the only woman so far to have won a DTM race, in 1992 with Mercedes-Benz)
- Klaus Ludwig (ex-DTM driver for Mercedes AMG, touring car legend, three-time DTM champion, FIA GT champion, 1998, multiple Le Mans winner)
- Joachim Löw (head coach to the national side, 2014 world champions)
- Bernd Mayländer (ex-DTM driver for Mercedes AMG, driver of the Formula 1 safety car)
- Jochen Mass (Formula 1 GP legend, 24 Hours of Le Mans race winner, 1989)
- Stirling Moss (Mercedes Silver Arrows driver in Formula 1, 1955, legendary winner of the 1955 Mille Miglia, F1 star with 66 GP starts, 16 GP victories, four-time world championship runner-up)
- Ewy Rosqvist (rally driver for Mercedes-Benz, winner of the 1962 touring car grand prix of Argentina)
- Susie Wolff (former DTM driver, test & development driver at Williams Mercedes)
by Philipp Deppe | 10.November 2014
Mercedes-Benz handed over 140,941 vehicles to customers in October (+11.5%), more than in any previous October. The Stuttgart based brand has also achieved a new sales record since the beginning of the year with sales of 1,336,097 cars (+12.4%).
“We started the fourth quarter with a sales record in October”, said Ola Källenius, member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for Marketing & Sales. “Already in the first month after the market launch the C-Class estate and the S-Class coupe were extremely popular among our customers.”
In October, the Stuttgart based company sold 60,632 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe (+9.8%). The growth markets were in particular Spain (+56.3%), Switzerland (+19.5%) and Belgium (+12.4%). Unit sales in the German market rose by 4.5% to 23,784 units last month. Thus, Mercedes-Benz stays the most registered premium brand in its home market.
In the past month, Mercedes-Benz posted particularly strong growth rates in the Asia-Pacific region: In China 23,150 customers picked up their vehicles, 33.4% more than in the previous year’s month – another sales record. In Japan, where Mercedes-Benz continues to lead the market among the importers, the brand also saw a new sales record (+10.6%). In Australia, the company even increased its October sales by 37.8%, thus posting another sales record.
Also in the NAFTA region, the company achieved a 6.6% increase in sales to 296,867 vehicles since the beginning of the year. In the USA, October was the best-selling month in 2014 to date with sales of 28,593 units. In the first ten months of the year, the company has handed over 261,804 vehicles to customers (+6.8%). Due to the unusually high unit sales in October 2013, the growth rate in October 2014 was below the previous year’s level (-4.9%).
Among the Mercedes-Benz model series, sales of the new compact cars developed very well: From January to October, a total of 375,435 customers chose a model of the A-, B-, CLA- or GLA-Class (+23.7%).
With an increase of almost 40% compared to the previous year’s month the C-Class sedan and estate met with great response among the customers in October.
The models of the E-Class segment are also in high demand: With 285,481 delivered vehicles since the beginning of the year, the brand achieved a new sales record (+9.2%). In October, the long-version of the E-Class, which is sold only in China, was the most popular one (+69.6%).
Mercedes-Benz continues to expand its leading position in the luxury segment with the S-Class. Only in October, 8,397 sedans were handed over to customers (+60.2%). One year after the launch in all core markets, the company has already delivered more than 100,000 units of the new S-Class. Never before have so many vehicles of the luxury sedan been delivered to customers in the first year of full availability. As the third model in the luxury segment, the S-Class coupe also excites customers: Since the beginning of the year, more than twice as many vehicles of the model have been delivered compared to the same period in the previous year.
The SUVs again posted rising sales numbers: Since the beginning of the year, 278,811 vehicles were sold, as many as never before (+5.6%). In October, the M-Class was chosen by a particularly large number of customers (+13.4%). MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 9.November 2014
Nico Rosberg took victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a race-long battle with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who completed a record-breaking one-two finish for the Silver Arrows at Interlagos.
Nico took his fifth victory of the season, Lewis his 15th podium finish from eighteen races. A 15th win of 2014 for the Silver Arrows equals the highest number of victories scored in a single season set by McLaren in 1988. The 11th one-two finish of 2014 for the team is a new all-time record, surpassing the previous best set in that same year. The team now has 651 Constructors’ Championship points – the most ever scored in a single season – surpassing the total set by Red Bull in 2011 with one race remaining. Lewis and Nico head into the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi with just 17 points separating them in the Drivers’ Championship
Both drivers started on the soft compound Pirelli tyre, stopping three times for mediums throughout the race.
Nico Rosberg:” That was a fantastic weekend and I felt very comfortable over the whole three days. I had to learn from Austin, which was a big disappointment, and I think I achieved that. I was able to control the pace a bit better and didn’t let Lewis come too close. He drove really well and was always right there pushing me. When he spun I had a bit of time to relax and was able to save some life in the tyres for the end of the stint. That worked out perfectly and it was a great day with another one-two for the team. I was also happy for Felipe to be on the podium with us at his home race. The Brazilian people have been so great to us throughout this the whole weekend so it was also a good day for them. Now we have a great finale to look forward to in Abu Dhabi. I’m still believing 100 per cent that I can make it but, of course, I will need some help from Felipe or Valtteri or Lewis himself.”
Lewis Hamilton: “Naturally, you’ll always be disappointed when you make a mistake and I did that today. But honestly, I felt great out there. The car was strong, my pace was good, I didn’t give up, kept pushing and made up the time so that’s what’s most important to me. Generally, when I’m told to push it means the team is bringing me in that lap so that’s what I did. In the end, they left me out for another lap which caught me by surprise. By the time I came round to do the second lap my rear tyres were gone from where I’d been pushing so hard. Even so, it was my mistake locking up the rears and ultimately that cost me the win. Nico drove a great race – defending well and not making any mistakes. But it’s clear I had the pace. It’s not a big deal, though. That’s motor racing. Obviously, I lost some points which is disappointing. But it’s a great team result with a record-breaking one-two finish and I really enjoyed the race. The car is just fantastic – the best I’ve ever driven – so a big thank you to the team for all their hard work. I’ll be pushing just as hard in Abu Dhabi and hopefully we’ll get to have another great race like we saw today.” MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 8.November 2014
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton secured a seventh consecutive Silver Arrows front row lockout during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Nico’s 10th pole position of the season secures him the inaugural pole position trophy. The result marks the 17th pole of the season for the Silver Arrows, with P2 for Lewis completing the 11th front row lockout. Just 33 thousandths of a second separated the pair – equivalent to two metres around a 4.3 km circuit (0.4%). Today saw the fastest pole position lap ever set at Interlagos, surpassing the 1:10.646 set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004.
I’m very happy with the weekend so far. The last run in qualifying was not my best but it was good enough to start from pole. And I’m pleased to start from the clean side of the grid, which should be a good thing for me. With the team I’ve reviewed why Austin didn’t work out perfectly for me and we’ve done a race simulation already this morning with high fuel levels in the car, so I learned a few things that I can improve and am quite confident I can do a better job in this race. Of course, I need a bit of help from my team-mate to make the World Championship happen. But I’m still highly motivated and will continue to push as hard as I can all the way.
I’m probably happier with second than I’ve ever been and I’m really pleased with the way we qualified as a team. It was so, so close out there and my lap wasn’t perfect, so I know there’s more time to find and where I can find it. I love being right on the limit, racing close and having a good battle – that’s what Formula One is all about. Nico has been quick all weekend and I’ve been chasing and chasing – but what’s important in my mind is that I’ve been improving with every session and I’ve found a good balance. Tomorrow is where the points are awarded and anything can happen at Interlagos as we’ve seen in the past. I’m looking forward to a good race and hopefully another strong result for the team. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 7.November 2014
Round 18 of the 2014 Formula One World Championship brings us to São Paulo for the Brazilian Grand Prix, held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
Interlagos is always one of the more challenging circuits in that it invariably throws in a few surprises. Historically it has been the final race of the season, which always incites unusual behaviour from the drivers. Seemingly normal procedures such as pit lane entry, for example, can often catch people out. Drivers know the regulations, however it is far from uncommon to see penalties awarded for repeated infringement of the pit lane entry boundaries, which are slightly unusual at this circuit. Beyond the men behind the wheel, however, there are plenty of unique characteristics which add to that unpredictability factor in São Paulo. The climate is highly variable, with rain often washing out the majority of running before clearing to leave an entirely dry day on the Sunday. This has produced some fascinating races over the years as teams and drivers must adapt quickly to a suddenly unfamiliar set of conditions. Elevation changes around the circuit also lead to rivers forming across the track during sustained periods of rain, which can often lead to sessions being suspended. Track temperatures too can vary significantly, reaching levels as high as 48 degrees and dropping as low as the early twenties. These shifts can occur not only from season to season but from day to day, making it tricky to predict the best set-up direction for each session.
The track has just been resurfaced almost in its entirety, which provides an unknown factor heading into the weekend that cannot be underestimated. Sochi was a case in point, with unusual tyre behaviour arising during the race in particular. The extent of this can depend on the quality of the surface, how long it has been laid down for and the materials used. The smoothness of the surface will also be a factor, with the significant bumps that have historically been a feature of this circuit potentially now negated. Grip levels too, both at the start of the weekend and as running progresses, will have an effect on how many adjustments will need to be made from run to run in order to keep up with that track evolution. These are all questions which must answered as swiftly as possible. Again, this may well bring a few surprises – particularly with a softer tyre compound allocation that traditionally seen here in the soft and medium.
Brazil often sees high quantities of overtaking manoeuvres – and not always at corners which might be expected to create such opportunities. The DRS runs into Turns One and Four are the most obvious opportunities, however is it not uncommon to see drivers making bold moves at places where it might not be imagined possible. This will be a particularly interesting factor with the freshly laid track surface for this year, as drivers explore grip levels around different parts of the circuit. The first corner also often sees a high attrition rate in terms of contact – particularly on the first lap – which again will be exaggerated by a lack of grip level understanding. MORE »
by Philipp Deppe | 6.November 2014
In October, Daimler Trucks’ U.S. subsidiary booked its highest level of incoming orders ever. Customers ordered a total of 31,304 Class 6 – 8 NAFTA and export vehicles of the Freightliner, Western Star, and Thomas Built Buses brands.
According to the data collected by the Americas Commercial Transportation Research (ACT) organization, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) achieved a new monthly order record for a single manufacturer in the North American truck business. Contributing to this success were orders from major customers as well as increased demand from small and medium-size fleet operators.
In October, month over month industry orders were up 61.2 percent with DTNA’s growth of 116.9 percent. DTNA’s order share was 51.9 percent of the industry total of 60.307 units. With a market share of around 38 percent, the subsidiary continues to be the undisputed market leader in the heavy-duty truck classes 6 – 8. The flagship vehicle of the Freightliner brand, the Cascadia Evolution, is generating especially strong momentum for incoming orders in the U.S. market. That’s because the truck has the highest fuel efficiency in its class and thus the lowest total cost of ownership.
“Daimler Trucks has a broader global footprint than any other manufacturer and encompasses strong pillars in Europe, America, and Asia. Intelligent platforms and components enable us to deliver in each region the products with the best total cost of ownership for our customers,” says Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, the Daimler Board of Management Member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses. “The number of incoming orders received by our U.S. subsidiary DTNA in October demonstrates that our strategy is effective and that our vehicles provide customers with tangible benefits.” MORE »