Daimler AG is preparing itself for potentially the largest celebration in its long manufacturing history – the 125
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anniversary of the invention of the automobile.

On January 29, 1886, Carl Benz filed the patent for his “Vehicle with gas engine drive”.

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen was powered by a 954cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, which produced 0.7kW at 400rpm and had a top speed of 16km/h.

It had one forward gear, no reverse, and featured solid rubber tyres.

At the same, less than 100km away, Gottlieb Daimler was working on his own motor wagon, which received the finishing touches in the same year.

Fair to say they’ve come a long way since then.

Chairman of the board of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche, said the anniversary would be an opportunity to both look back at history and look forward to the future of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz.

“The invention of Daimler and Benz changed the world for the better, and it will continue to do so,” Dr Zetsche said.“As the inventor we also have the claim to shape the future of mobility: with fascinating brands, green technologies and new business opportunities. We have many ideas.”

Daimler has a number of plans to mark the anniversary of the automobile.

Germany will host a number of vehicle exhibitions dedicated to Daimler and Mercedes-Benz cars 2011.

Daimler will thank its entire workforce (which is approximately 270,000-strong around the world) with numerous activities and festivities to begin in January.

The public will get the chance to participate in the celebrations, with the pinnacle set to be an international soccer match between Germany and Brazil sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

Daimler will also update its illustrated company chronicle to cover the entire history of the brand – from Benz’s 1886 Patent-Motorwagen to the modern Mercedes-Benz vehicles of today.