Mercedes-Benz (German pronunciation: [mɛʁˈtseːdəsˌbɛnts]) is a global automobile manufacturer and a division of the German company Daimler AG. The brand is known for luxury vehicles, buses, coaches, and trucks. The headquarters is in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg.
The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz, but traces its origins to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's 1901 Mercedes and Karl Benz's 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is widely regarded as the first gasoline-powered automobile. The slogan for the brand is "the best or nothing" and Mercedes-Benz was one of the top growing brands in 2014 with 18% growth.
BMW AG originated with three other manufacturing companies,Â Rapp MotorenwerkeÂ andÂ Bayerische FlugzeugwerkeÂ (BFw) inÂ Bavaria, andÂ Fahrzeugfabrik EisenachÂ inÂ Thuringia. Aircraft engine manufacturer Rapp Motorenwerke becameÂ Bayerische MotorenwerkeÂ in 1916. The engine manufacturer, which built proprietary industrial engines afterÂ World War I, was then bought by the owner of BFw who then merged BFw into BMW and moved the engine works onto BFw’s premises. BFw’s motorcycle sideline was improved upon by BMW and became an integral part of their business.
BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1929 when it purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, which, at the time, builtÂ Austin SevensÂ under licence under theÂ DixiÂ marque.Â BMW’s team of engineers progressively developed their cars from small Seven-based cars into six-cylinder luxury cars and, in 1936, began production of theÂ BMW 328Â sports car. Aircraft engines, motorcycles, and automobiles would be BMW’s main products untilÂ World War II. During the war, against the wishes of its directorÂ Franz Josef Popp, BMW concentrated on aircraft engine production, with motorcycles as a side line and automobile manufacture stopped altogether.