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2011-08-26 13:32

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW: The Mercedes-Benz stand at the upcoming Johannesburg show will contain some true gems, including an example of the first car ever introduced in South Africa.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) will have an exciting stand at the Johannesburg international motor show in October, as it showcases exhilarating high-performance passenger cars and state-of the-art trucks, vans and buses while celebrating 125 years of the brand.

The company that is known today as Daimler AG can trace its roots back to patent number 37435, lodged by Carl Benz in 1886 on his “vehicle powered by a gas engine”. This marked the birth of the automobile that Mercedes-Benz says paved the way for development that continues today.

As traffic density and driver demands have increased, developments by the brand include the concept of the crumple zone (in 1952) and the first diesel-powered passenger car (1936).


This year, MBSA's strong heritage will be displayed in the Benz Velo that will have pride of place at its Johannesburg showstand.

The first vehicle in South Africa was a Velo imported by John Percy Hess, a broker, forwarding agent and general dealer from Pretoria. The vehicle was first demonstrated at Pretoria's Berea Park on January 4, 1897, but the original was unfortunately lost in a later warehouse fire.

However, in celebration of the brand's South African story, a Benz Velo from the Mercedes-Benz Classic museum in Stuttgart has been brought to the country for display at October's Johannesburg international auto show.


Showgoers more interested in modern machines have the 420-kW Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster to drool over, which makes its debut at the show, along with the latest generation of its bread-and-butter C-Class range including the sexy new C-Class Coupe.

The B-Class F-Cell used in the recent “World Drive Tour” and the Concept A-Class will also be on display.

Smart will represent the two-wheelers with its ebike using the manufacturer’s micro-hybrid drive for emission-free electric mobility.

The Johannesburg international auto show starts October 6, 2011.

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