Fleet automotive milestones through time

We take a look back through time and see where we are heading in the future.

1936 – Mercedes-Benz started to gain a lot of recognition outside of Germany and the W136 made its debut.

1967 – The Company founded Mercedes-AMG as a separate high-performance division. The first car to be introduced under this new division was the 300SEL. It was given the name ‘Red Sow’

1978 – Mercedes-Benz became the world’s first motor manufacture to launch the second generation anti-Lock braking system ABS.

1979 – Following Margret Thatcher’s election success she started to look into changes with the company car taxation. She looked to raise VAT to 15%, scrapped 100% first-year allowances for lessors and the concept of writing down allowance was properly affected, based on a notional cost new of £8,000.

1981 – The world’s first car with airbag and belt tensioner was released. The S-Class received a lot of attention at the Geneva motor show with the new safety features on.


1983 – With the help of the ‘Clunk, click with every trip’ advert it became compulsory to wear a seatbelt as of the 31st January 1983.

1996 – Brake Assist (BAS) was introduced by Mercedes-Benz. BAS shortens the stopping distance in an emergency – when the driver applies the brakes too hesitantly or too gently in a critical situation.

2002 – CO2 – Based company car tax introduced. The company car tax system had been designed to provide financial incentives for employers and company car drivers to choose cars that produce lower CO2 emissions, and encourage car manufactures to develop and introduce greener cars.

2007 – The Mercedes-Benz S400 was the first hybrid car to adopt a rechargeable battery. The lithium-ion.

2008 – Saw Chancellor Alistair Darling confirm the reform of the vehicle Excise Duty (VED) structure. From 2009, VED would be restructured so that there were financial incentives for choosing the greenest cars.

Plug in

2011 – Plug-in Grant Launched. The grant was created in 2011 to encourage sales of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and has been instrumental in the UK becoming the biggest ULEV market in the EU, and the fourth largest in the world. Some 50,000 people have already benefited from the grant.

2016 – The first Brexit vote was announced.

2017 – Plans revealed to improve air quality. The plan was released to reduce the roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations. This saw NEDC pollutions testing change to WLTP.

Future – With all the improvements in place from the government and car manufactures heading towards electric cars we are happy to confirm our EQ range will be available as of next year, starting with the EQC.


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