At the beginning of the month, the Lifestyle & Brand Communications department of Mercedes-Benz invited a group of bloggers to Stuttgart, Germany, for a 2 day Mercedes-Benz Brand Workshop. It was quite a mixed group, from strict car blogs to fashion blogs. The design blogs were represented by NOTCOT, MoCoLoco, Lost At E Minor, Nowness, The World’s Best Ever … to just name a few.
On the first day we all met at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. We first got an introduction to the brand by their futurologist Alexander Mankowsky, he gave us a short trip through history and explained to us why Mercedes-Benz is an ambassador of European luxury.
The guided tour through the museum made is very clear what an impressive heritage the brand has. The collection is just amazing. But also the architecture by UNStudio is actually worth a visit. The obligatory wining and dining also took place at the museum and was very Mercedes-Benz like.
The first half of the second day was the highlight for me: a visit to the Mercedes-Benz Design Centre in Sindelfingen. There was a strict no phones, no cameras policy at this location, but I don’t think that we saw anything that hasn’t been published yet.
Steffen Köhl, the head of the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios, gave us a presentation on the design department and its processes. Other brands often use the names of their designers in their communication, not at Mercedes-Benz. For the designers at Mercedes-Benz there isn’t a bigger reward than to see their designs in streets, on TV or in movies.
A second presentation by Alexander Mankowsky, introduced us to sustainable mobility and what kind technical and social innovation. He actually talked about mobility devices and not about cars, but what kind of concepts Mercedes-Benz is working on, was not revealed.
Then we had a short visit to the Colour and Trim department where Martin Brehmer talked about trends in the interior design. Mercedes-Benz is a global brand which means that the Colour and Trim designers have to be familiar with certain cultural differences. Not every colour or material has the same meaning in every country.
The last stop at the Design Centre was the presentation hall P1, where a whole line of cars were lined up. Steffen Köhl presented us different E-Class models and their unique features. There were also two 1/4 clay models and 1/1 model of the new SLS AMG. A few climbed behind the steering wheel and most of them bumped their head against the gullwing doors while getting out. Speaking of an over 50 year old design flaw.
The last few cars where show cars like the F700, the Concept Blue Zero and the F800 Style. These cars aren’t only about their design but also about what’s under their hood. But I have to admit that the F800 Style is a really, really good looking car.
In the afternoon we were transferred to the Mercedes-Benz testing ground in Malmsheim. Here they had lined up a fleet of their cars for us the try out. We could test drive an E 63 AMG or an E-Class convertible, but also a Smart electric drive or a zero emission F-Cell and many others. The funny thing was, that I don’t drive cars. Indeed, I do have a drivers license but I don’t drive. I’m a front seat passenger par excellence. So I drove along with a very fancy E-Class and a demonstration of the Pre Safe Brake system.
Those were the 2 days at the Mercedes-Benz Brand Workshop. I would like to thank the whole team for this experience, every detail of those 2 days was on par with the brand itself.