As the inventor of the truck and the van, Mercedes-Benz revolutionized goods transport. Gottlieb Daimler built the first truck in 1896. In the same year, Carl Benz developed the first van, called “delivery vehicle” or “business vehicle” at the time. With their inventions, they laid the foundation stone for the motorized transportation of goods.
With their speed and flexibility, the engine-powered trucks and delivery vehicles proved superior to conventional means of transport – horse-drawn carts, ships and railways – in that they saved time and costs. Outstanding economic efficiency was the success formula for trucks from Mercedes-Benz. In the 1920s, the Benz company was the first to introduce diesel technology to commercial vehicles and presented the world’s first diesel-engined truck from large-scale production in 1924.
Diesel engines additionally improved economic efficiency, as borne out by a glance at fuel costs in the 1930s: even after substantial price increases, the price of diesel fuel was still only half that of gasoline.