Main.TrailIndexPage | Data Cards and Codes | Production Statistics, Exports and US Model Year

Production Statistics, Exports and US Model Year

This material is part of a chapter on Data Cards.

In Germany, the term Model Year does not exist, only the Registration Year. The year of the car is determined by the date (month/year) on which the first owner registered it and received a title (“Erstzulassung”). If a car was produced towards the end of the year and first registered in the next year, it was therefore a next year Registration Year. The Registration Year can always be identified in the German title document, which stays with the car through its lifetime.

In this Chapter we want to clarify the difference between the Production Year and the “Registration Year” resp. “Model Year” of the vehicles registered in the United States (in the early years, the term "Model Year" and the term "Registration Year" were used synonymous in the US, nowadays most people speak of "Model Year").

Production Months

Fahrgestell-Endnummer des zuletzt gefertigten Fahrzeuges in den jeweils aufgefuehrten Monaten.

Last 6 digits of serial number of the last W113 vehicle produced in the month listed

YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1963Januarynone  
 February000002  
 March000003  
 Aprilnone  
 May000018  
 June000037  
 July000142  
 August000279  
 September000492  
 October000848  
 November001255  
 December001561  
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1964January002038  
 February002537  
 March003077  
 April003719  
 May004229  
 June004915  
 July005542  
 August006080  
 September006691  
 October007351  
 November007973  
 December008498  
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1965January009025  
 February009578  
 March010135  
 April010655  
 May011252  
 June011774  
 July012368  
 August012918  
 September013462  
 October013987  
 November014409  
 December014779  
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1966January015213  
 February015501  
 March015936  
 April016300  
 May016699  
 June017119  
 July017541  
 August017952  
 September018386  
 October018841  
 November019292000006 
 December019737000024 
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1967January019832000403 
 Februarydiscontinued000903 
 March 001428 
 April 001914 
 May 002531 
 June 002813 
 July 003248 
 August 003775 
 September 004318 
 October 004806 
 November 005123000007
 December 005196000256
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1968January discontinued000792
 February  001401
 March  002000
 April  002581
 May  003190
 June  003700
 July  004377
 August  004927
 September  005527
 October  006137
 November  006670
 December  007114
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1969January  007772
 February  008410
 March  009082
 April  009778
 May  010449
 June  011135
 July  011926
 August  012556
 September  013260
 October  013985
 November  014599
 December  015169
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1970January  015754
 February  016459
 March  017164
 April  017927
 May  018505
 June  019241
 July  019991
 August  020621
 September  021277
 October  021916
 November  022555
 December  023111
YearMonth230SL - 113 042250SL - 113 043280SL - 113 044
1971January  023585
 February  023885
 March  discontinued

These are the months when the vehicles were produced in Sindelfingen. These are NOT months of sale or first registration! These are NOT model years but calender years!

Source: Daimler-Benz AG, Dept. ZPST-Statistik, 1971

Exports

By Calender Year (not Model Year), the split between total production, total exports and US exports (part of total exports) was as follows (as can be seen, the export sometimes only commenced in the following year):

YearModelTotal ProductionTotal ExportUS Export
1963230SL1465693140
1964230SL69113326782
1965230SL632536631429
1966230SL494536752067
1967230SL185369334
Total230SL19831117264752
YearModelTotal ProductionTotal ExportUS Export
1966250SL1700
1967250SL517737931753
1968250SL2158
Total250SL519638081761
YearModelTotal ProductionTotal ExportUS Export
1967280SL1432523
1968280SL693052873290
1969280SL804762494102
1970280SL793564624992
1971280SL830558520
Total280SL238851868112927

Source: Engelen (62)

During the course of W113 production, the share of US-version vehicles rose from 9.5% in 1963 to nearly 63% in the seventies, i.e., towards the end of the production run nearly two cars out of every three built were made for the US.

US Model Year

Before 1967, the Model Year for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the US was usually the date of the first registration, independent of the serial number (VIN). Motor Vehicle Agencies in individual states may have registered them with a different Model Year after July 1 or after September 1, mostly since this was the practice for American cars with annual sheetmetal changes.

To make the Registration & Licensing of these cars easier and consistent, several states in the US required since 1966, first time for Model Year 1967, that the manufacturers send them an annual letter officially informing them of the serial number cutoff for the next Model Year.

Accordingly, since 1966 Mercedes-Benz of North America, Inc. (MBNA) informs the Motor Vehicle Agencies in the 50 states of the US annually in writing about the startup VINs for the next Model Year and the date when these vehicles are available for sale at the dealerships.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB, respectively its predecessor agency) introduced the first exhaust emission regulations in the late sixties, requiring the manufacturers to certify their vehicles at the CARB Laboratory in Los Angeles. This certification is an annual process. This introduced the first annual hardware or calibration changes for US models, and had an impact on when cars could be designated the next model year.

The W113 serial numbers as listed in MBNA's letters were as follows (49):

  • 1967 Model Year began with registration date September 1, 1966 plus serial number higher than 113042-..-015165 (230SL), and all 250SL up to 113043-..-002981. (This letter contained VIN 113042-..-015165. This VIN was produced in January of 1966, and may have been sold before September 1, as a Model Year 1966.)
  • 1968 Model Year began with registration date September 1, 1967 plus serial number 113043-..-002982 (250SL), and all 280SL up to 113044-..-003700.
  • 1969 Model Year began with registration date September 1, 1968 plus serial number 113044-..-003701
  • 1970 Model Year began with registration date of October 1, 1969 plus serial number 113044-..-011948
  • 1971 Model Year began with registration date of October 1, 1970 plus serial number 113044-..-018506

Again, these dates and numbers are only applicable within the United States.

To show compliance with the US Federal and California exhaust emission regulations, as of MY 1970 - i.e. as of 113044-..-011948 - the US-version vehicles had to be equipped with the following emissions plate:

MY 1970

MY 1971

Reproductions of these labels are available (61). These labels were riveted to the driver-side B-pillar.
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