With the invention of the automobile, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz newly defined mobility and also travel. In the early days of the new means of transport, however, travel was an elite pleasure, a privilege of the well-to-do upper classes. Then in 1895, Carl Benz introduced the motorized bus which was to connect the towns of Siegen, Netphen and Deuz in what was the world’s first regular local public transport service by motor vehicle. In the following years, the bus democratized motorized travel, and large groups of the population were able to enjoy the new dimension of mobility.
The 1920s then saw a veritable travel boom, and motorized tourism became part of daily life. Excursions and vacation trips by bus were highly popular, as were city tours or car outings with picnics in the country. After World War II, it was once again the bus which made the first vacation trips possible in the early economic miracle years.
Mercedes-Benz adopted different approaches in the development of regular service buses and touring coaches as early as the 1950s to meet the different requirements as effectively as possible. In 1967 the first standard regular service bus for local public transport operators was launched, and the Mercedes-Benz touring coaches became more comfortable, safer and environmentally more compatible from one generation to the next.
Mercedes-Benz also adapted its range of passenger cars to the changing travel requirements and different leisure activities. New car categories opened up new opportunities – like the T-Series introduced in 1977 (“T” for Tourism and Transport). The T-Series – the station wagon version of the successful W 123 series – conquered the market with its generous and flexibly adaptable interior space and proved to be the ideal car for leisure time activities. Additional car categories with outstanding leisure and travel potential followed, among them the offroader launched in 1979, the V-Class (1996), the M-Class (1997), the B-Class (2005), the R-Class (2005) and finally the GL-Class (2006).
At the beginning of the 21st century, Mercedes-Benz offers a diversified product range for all kinds of passenger transport. Passenger cars, offroaders, vans, mobile homes, taxis, regular service buses and touring coaches – customer-oriented solutions are available to meet the most diversified demands.