|Rauno Asikainen Mercedes-Benz 170 D 1949|
During the war the Mercedes-Benz plant suffered very severe bomb damage, but the manufacturer nevertheless emerged from the trauma of war with a significant competitive advantage over many of its pre-war competitors. Manufacturers including Adler, BMW and Ford in Germany had been heavily dependent for the supply of steel car bodies on Ambi-Budd whose Berlin plant was destroyed by bombing in 1943: its site now ended up in the Soviet occupation zone (subsequently East Germany). The manufacturing plants of Horch, Wanderer and BMW were located in what in July 1945 became the Soviet controlled part of Germany. None of these manufacturers could resume volume production without first finding a way to obtain and fund a source of steel car bodies and access to a suitable plant for auto-assembly. Mercedes-Benz, however, retained ownership of and access to its car plant.
Production restarted in May 1946. The vehicles produced were versions of the 170V, but in 1946 only 214 vehicles were produced and they were all light trucks or ambulances.Passenger car production resumed in July 1947, but volumes were still very low, with just 1,045 170Vs produced that year. There was no return for the various open topped models from the 1930s. Customers for a Mercedes-Benz 170V passenger car were restricted to the four door "Limousine" sedan/saloon bodied car.
|Mercedes-Benz 170 S|
Production did ramp up during the next couple of years, and in 1949 170V production returned to above 10,000 cars. From May 1949 the car, badged in this permutation as the Mercedes-Benz 170D, was offered with an exceptionally economical 38 PS (28 kW; 37 hp) diesel engine. The 170D was the world's third diesel fueled passenger car, and the first to be introduced after the war.