German brand of luxury and high-performance automobiles, owned by manufacturer Daimler AG, and originally created by a merger of the Daimler and Benz factories in 1926. The first cars to carry the Mercedes name were those built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1901.
In the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz dominated Grand Prix races. The W196, which made its debut 1954, was one of the finest racing cars of the post-war era. Following a disaster at Le Mans 1955, when 80 spectators lost their lives after an accident involving a Mercedes, the company withdrew from motor sport until 1989.