Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs set the standard for luxury, sophistication and technology wrapped in classy but reserved Teutonic styling. This iconic German automaker was founded in 1886 when Karl Benz was granted a patent for the world's first motorcar. In 1901 Daimler acquired the rights to the name Mercedes. Daimler and Benz then merged in 1926, and the resulting company has been building luxury and high-performance automobiles ever since. In 1998 Daimler-Benz AG merged with Chrysler Corp. to form DaimlerChrysler. When that didn’t work out, the German parent sold off Chrysler in 2007 and became Daimler AG.