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4 valuable lessons we can learn from Mercedes-Benz

I am a big fan of German cars, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but in particular, Mercedes-Benz. Since I was a child I believed that Henry Ford invented the automobile, and later I learned that Karl Benz really did, back in 1886 when Henry Ford was still playing with Lego. Not to upset Henry, he devised the production line that sped up the production of all automobiles.

I don’t remember when I started to love and respect Mercedes-Benz above all others, but I can tell you why…

They’ve put a couple of principles into practice and made some decisions that I really respect and think we can learn from.

1. They are pioneers

Mercedes-Benz has pioneered more automotive technology than any other automaker. Many times on auto forums, people criticize the Merc and insist that they are copying others in design or technology. I always reply that even if that were true, they have every right to: they invented the car, so every car manufacturer, just for the sake of producing cars, is copying them.

That’s just a lighthearted joke, but the point is that Mercedes has been a pioneer. They developed the engine ignition system so you don’t have to start the engine with a wrench, they developed the first supercharged car, they pioneered crumple zones, they created ABS for cars, they were the first to introduce airbags in Europe, they developed the folding steering column and Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which was later introduced to other cars under many other names like DSC, and this is just a very short list.

Being a pioneer has its price, but it is worth it. Mercedes spends more than any other manufacturer on research and development (currently it’s about 90 million rand a day! In 2006 they spent 140 million rand a day on research and development), so they make less profit, but in mind of the majority of the world’s population, have a name of prestige, respect and admiration on a par with Bentley and Rolls Royce.

When people need to refer to a landmark, you’ll only hear one of two things: they’re the Rolls Royce of your field or they’re the Mercedes Benz of your field.

As a testament to the pioneering spirit of Mercedes, see how much of the technology found in Bentleys and Rolls Royce was conceived and developed by Mercedes-Benz. You will notice that this distinction does not apply the other way around. Another testimonial is that about 9 out of 10 royals and statesmen (presidents, diplomats, rulers, ministers, kings, queens, chancellors) drive or are driven in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Maybach.

2. They are not selfish and greedy

What I most respect and admire about Mercedes, something that, to my knowledge, no other automaker has ever done, is that they licensed their safety technology for use by their competitors.

That meant other automakers could use Mercedes’ safety technology in their own cars without paying royalties to Merc. And that means that countless people are alive today, countless children of those people may be here today, because of the pioneering Mercedes technology present in Volvo, BMW, Audi, etc., etc.

Ok, corporate greed is everywhere and I’m not going to say that Mercedes doesn’t try to maximize profit like every other automaker, or any other manufacturer. But licensing its security technology to others, which it spent millions upon millions to develop, is not something a company with greed at its core does.

3. It is vital to choose your mentors and leaders very carefully

Mercedes-Benz went through the ugliest period in its history between 1995 and 2005. Unfortunately, the wrong person was chosen to lead the company, someone who did not understand the principles of excellence. He decided that Mercedes should cut expenses to increase its profits. Mercedes slipped in the customer satisfaction rankings to second from bottom. It’s an amazing testament to Mercedes’ established reputation that they made it through that period with minimal damage.

Then a new CEO took over, a man who understands excellence very, very clearly, and Mercedes has never made better cars before in its history, even though with computers and electronics it’s harder than ever to do that because there are so many times more chances of failures and errors.

The most recent technological development from Mercedes as of this writing is PRE-SAFE, a system that goes beyond protecting you in a crash, it actually predicts the crash and prepares the seating position and airbags, closes the windows and sunroof and activate seat belt. pretensioners BEFORE the crash occurs. If the crash does not occur, all systems are restored to normal.

Materials and engineering are top notch again, and the decade before is now just a bad memory.

4. They value family

Couples often lose the passion and spark in their marriage because they don’t have a common goal and vision for their lives. Then one day they say things like, “I just don’t love him anymore” or “We just drifted apart over time”! Um, yeah, so don’t let that happen. Make your family part of your story. Don’t see your wife/husband as a separate entity from your purpose in life. We are called to do this together.

If you look at the history of Mercedes-Benz, you can see a familiar theme throughout. Bertha Benz drove Karl’s car for a long distance on a highly publicized tour. At that time, people did not understand the gasoline engine, and she thought that it must be driven by demons. They were very superstitious.

Bertha Benz’s journey, undertaken without her husband’s knowledge, made people more comfortable with the idea of ​​the car and curiosity peaked setting the stage for success.

Other familiar references in the amazing history of Mercedes-Benz include his own name. Mercedes Jellinek was the daughter of Emil Jellinek. Emil Jellinek was a wealthy man who drove the early development of Daimler engines because he raced his cars and required more and more speed.

Gottlieb Daimler worked on a car design around the same time as Karl Benz, but since his was a converted horse-drawn carriage, rather than a chassis specifically designed like Karl Benz’s, Karl Benz was credited as the father of the car.

One of the Daimler engines is named after Emil Jellinek’s daughter, Mercedes. Eventually, Emil Jellinek named the Mercedes racing team after him. He clearly adored his daughter. Eventually, Karl Benz merged his company with Daimler’s to form Daimler-Benz.

I don’t know about you, but family is very important to me, so this element of Mercedes-Benz heritage places them head and shoulders above the rest in my book. To me Ferrari and Mercedes have the greatest reason to be proud and have the richest heritage of any automotive company, but not even Ferrari can claim to have invented the car πŸ˜‰

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