At the Mercedes-Benz plant Sindelfingen (Germany) series production of the new E-Class has begun. “Around two million cars roll off the production lines at our Mercedes-Benz plants every year. Each of these vehicles represents something special – but this one is unique: it is the first model of the new E-Class. In front of us stands the world’s most intelligent business saloon, built by the world’s best employees. Intelligent, innovative, packed with high tech – and premium quality. We are confident that our customers around the world are going to be impressed,” stated Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production & Supply Chain Management.
The new E-Class has a unique tradition. With a total of over 13 million E-Class Saloons and Estates sold, the E-Class is the best-selling vehicle in Mercedes-Benz history. To mark the official start of production, Mercedes-Benz gathered examples of the nine predecessor model series at the finishing line of the business saloon in Sindelfingen. “The start of series production in our 101st year continues the Sindelfingen success story,” stated Michael Bauer, Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant. “The E-Class stands for everything that makes our plant the competence center for upper range and luxury-class vehicles: tradition, innovation and the drive to set standards among the world’s best.”
Parade of automotive innovation champions to mark the start of series production
The plant marked the start of series production of its core product with an impressive parade of automotive innovation champions. The line-up featured one of each of the nine predecessor model series:
The 170 V model, the “original E-Class,” was the first post-war car from Mercedes-Benz: solid, comfortable and spacious.
The Mercedes-Benz 180 “Ponton” launched a new era as the first vehicle with a unibody construction and reduced drag and consumption with its ultra-modern all-enveloping bodywork.
The “Fintail” owed its name to its distinctive exterior. Mercedes-Benz fitted it with ground-breaking safety features developed by Béla Barony, including the rigid passenger cell with crumple zones at the front and rear.
The “Stroke 8” was introduced in 1968, and with production figures topping 1.8 million models, it became the star brand’s first million seller. For the first time a coupé was introduced alongside the saloon. Further variety was added with the introduction of the world’s first five-cylinder diesel engine to feature in a series-produced car.
From 1976, the 123 model series offered even more variety with a broad engine line-up and the first factory-produced estate model. This model series was the most successful of the E-Class’ predecessors: around 2.7 million models were built.
Model series 124, introduced in 1984, was a pioneer in a whole range of respects: it had the first controlled three-way catalytic converter, a lightweight and aerodynamic construction which optimized consumption and performance, and innovative safety features such as the new independent multi-link suspension.
Customers of the mid-size model series, launched in 1995, benefited as standard from a design which won the “red dot” award with its twin-headlamp face, but also from a wealth of technical highlights such as the Electronic Traction System ETS, belt force limiters and, from 1999, the driving safety system ESP.
In the following generation of the E-Class, innovations were introduced to further enhance safety and ride comfort, including adaptive front airbags and Sensotronic Brake Control for significantly shorter stopping distances. Natural gas drive was also introduced into series production, as was the clean BlueTEC diesel technology.
Leading the way in its segment in terms of safety, comfort and environmental compatibility, the 2009 E-Class featured a 30 percent more rigid body, new adaptive suspension and a unique combination of driver assistance systems, for example Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Night View Assist.
Source: Daimler AG