Over the years Mercedes have certainly had a great deal more successes than failures. Their cars so impressively designed are a shining example of how a quality car should engineered, but has it always been this way? Well certainly it has not always been easy for Mercedes; they have had to face many challenges throughout the years, many of which were completely out of their control. And some perhaps not; for example their more recent problems with build quality, which many believe were completely of Mercedes own making. Confidence in Mercedes dropped in the late 1990's when it became evident that both mechanical and electronic faults were on the increase. Contract hire and leasing brokers became worried about recommending Mercedes Benz to clients. The M class received the most criticism from motoring journalists.
During 2003 Which Magazine carried out a survey and downgraded Mercedes Benz by two categories; they went from being classed as best for reliability, to average. Although in the report, The Consumer Association criticised all the German Manufacturers, saying that they had all declined in recent years. Perhaps what was most surprising is that it emerged that the manufacturer motorists complained most about was Volkswagen.
The BBC's Top Gear carried out a survey in 2004; in which they placed the M Class last out of 142 cars surveyed. Since then Mercedes have been making great efforts to restore their good name and reputation and to once again have the Mercedes Benz name associated with high build quality and reliabilty.
In 1886 the world's first automobile was invented by Karl Benz. He patented the vehicle and called it the Benz Patent Motorwagen. Benz was based in the German town of Mannheim.The car's three wheels were little wider that today's bicycle wheels. The ride was rather harsh and the occupants had no protection from the elements. Lights to enable the vehicle to negotiate the poor road conditions at night had not been thought of.