Sometimes people aren’t too concerned about the accuracy of car names. This is especially true in the Stuttgart region. While A-Class, E-Class, and S-Class vehicles are normally referred to as being from Mercedes-Benz — one of the world’s most valuable brands — over almost the entire world, people in the Stuttgart Region would often use the word “Daimler” to refer not only to the mother company as such, but also to one of its vehicles. For example, a typical Swabian sentence might be: “Hosch dir en neia Daimler kauft?” (“Have you bought yourself a new Daimler?”). Anyone who’s familiar with the local customs will immediately recognize that the person asking this question is also congratulating the buyer of the new star-brand car in downright ecstatic terms – after all, Swabians are not best-known for their rampant enthusiasm. Leaving that aside, it is also that the use of the word “Daimler” to refer to the brand isn’t quite correct. But it seems that the average person in Stuttgart finds it easier to speak the name of the automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler, whose workshop was in Cannstatt (which today is a district of Stuttgart), than that of Mercedes Jellinek, who was from Vienna, or even of Carl Benz, who came from Baden.
However, there are several thousand cars that officially bear the last name of the inventor from Stuttgart as their marque. Most of these vehicles are now owned by collectors. They were produced by the Daimler Motor Company, which is based in Coventry, England. Founded by Harry Lawson in 1896, this company bought the rights of use of the Daimler patents and the name in the UK and the British Empire from Frederick Richard Simms, who had purchased them in 1895. The company was acquired by Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) Co. Ltd. in 1910 and by Jaguar Cars Ltd. in 1960. As a consequence, for almost half a century, the top-of-the-line models from the British automaker didn’t have the iconic jaguar symbol on their radiator grilles, but a wavy letter “D” for Daimler.