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Mercedes-Benz (sometimes shortened to just Mercedes or Benz) is a famous German brand of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks now owned by Daimler AG (formerly known as Daimler-Benz). The Daimler-Benz AG company originated on June 28, 1926 when two companies, Benz & Cie. and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG), merged. Established in 1871, Benz & Cie. was the most important of several companies founded by Karl Benz. DMG was founded by Gottlieb Daimler and his partner Wilhelm Maybach in 1890, but Daimler died in 1900 and Maybach left DMG in 1907, by which time the two companies were rivals. In 1924—due to economic necessity after World War One—they entered into an "Agreement of Mutual Interest" (valid until the year 2000), however, this initial agreement still allowed each company to manufacture and sell their products under their original brand names. It was only after the 1926 official merger, that the brand—Mercedes-Benz—was created and used. Mercedes-Benz is the brand name applied to the models of one of the premier automotive manufacturers in the world and, because of its tie to Karl Benz, it is also the name of the world's oldest continuously produced automobile line. Its contemporary competition in automobile production is from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus. In 1926 when the new company, Daimler-Benz was established through merger, a new logo also was created that would include a symbol for each and integrate the names of the two former companies. A three-pointed star had been designed by Gottlieb Daimler to show the ability of his motors for land, air, and sea use. This star first appeared on a DMG model in 1909, so it was chosen for the new logo. However the brand name Daimler was compromised after the death of Daimler in 1900, and allowed to be used on other automobiles, so the name of its seminal Mercedes model was chosen for the DMG portion of the logo. The traditional laurel symbol of Karl Benz was added along with his name to complete the new logo. The logo with a plain ring, as seen today, was not used until 1937. Mercedes-Benz automobiles are among the most technologically advanced vehicles in the world, as they have pioneered—both in the past and present—countless technological and safety features (see details below) and renowned for their flawless design and execution. It was in 1998 - when Daimler-Benz and Chrysler agreed to combine their businesses—known as the "merger of equals" — that the DaimlerChrysler AG company was created.