Daimler celebrates the motor car’s 125th birthday
Stuttgart
Dec 13, 2010
  • Numerous events with friends, partners and employees
  • Opening event is a celebration on 29. January 2011 with the participation of the German Federal Chancellor
  • Mercedes-Benz, sponsor of the 2011 automobile summer of Baden-Württemberg State
  • Dr Dieter Zetsche: "As the inventor of the automobile it has always been our motivating force to shape the future of mobility: with fascinating brands, green technology and new business opportunities.
    We have many ideas!"
Stuttgart – 125 years after Carl Benz filed his “Vehicle with gas engine drive” under Patent number 37435 at the Berlin Patent Office in 1886, Daimler AG is celebrating the motor car’s birthday. On January 29, 2011, the inventor of the automobile is inviting international guests from the automotive sector, personalities from the world of politics, economy and society to a celebration at the Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart. The Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Angela Merkel, is to be the guest of honour of the evening. The list of guests includes numerous friends and partners of Daimler. This event is to be the starting point of a jubilee year with multiple activities centred on the motor car’s 125th anniversary.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The invention of Daimler and Benz changed the world for the better - and it will continue to do so. 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!"
The consistent further development of ideas, the will to permanent improvement and the firm belief in one’s success were the remarkable characteristics of the founding fathers of Daimler AG. 125 years on, those leading principles still form the unshakeable basis of Daimler’s philosophy and will remain its guiding star in the future.
True to this philosophy, at Daimler the year 2011 stands under the motto “125! Years Inventor of the Automobile”, while the Mercedes-Benz brand stands under the motto “125! years of innovation”. Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars will begin to accompany the jubilee year starting a publicity campaign already in the run-up to the initial ceremony of January 29, 2011.
A fresh edition of the corporate chronicle
Scheduled to coincide punctually with the opening festivities, Daimler is updating and publishing its exclusive illustrated company chronicle anew. Illustrated with hundreds of photographs, it relates the history of the motor car as well as the history of the company from the beginning right down until the present day. And the chronicle also includes a glimpse into the future of the automobile with the vision of accident-free driving and the path towards emission-free mobility. Another publication is to be edited in the form of a book with 125 anecdotes revolving around the motor car, entitled “125 moving stories”. The reader can learn entertaining, informative and surprising stories – some of which have never been set down in writing before.
Exhibitions around the world
The central anchor point for the automobile’s history is the Mercedes-Benz Museum, which in 2011 celebrates its 5th anniversary at its new home in the Mercedes-Strasse in Stuttgart. In addition to the museum’s automotive classics, the guest exhibition ART 125! will be on show here from May to September 2011. Over 160 exhibits from the company’s collection of modern and contemporary art created by more than 80 internationally renowned artists will be on display. Among the works of art that will be seen there are many which originated in the artist’s treatment of the history, models or design of Mercedes-Benz motor cars. Worthy of mention among these: Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) legendary series of paintings "CARS", created by the artist 25 years ago on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the automobile. Beside further works with reference to the motor car by Bertrand Lavier, Robert Longo, Sylvie Fleury and Vincent Szarek among others, in the Mercedes-Benz Museum it will be possible to see for the first time a work commissioned for the automobile’s 125th birthday.
In addition, a special exhibition will present highlights from the Daimler Art Collection. The exhibition ranges from Stuttgart Art Academy teachers Adolf Hölzel and his successor Willi Baumeister, both of great significance for many artists, to the classics of constructive and concrete art from South-west Germany, to contemporary videos and photographs by international artists.
Exhibitions will be staged at the international Mercedes-Benz Galleries, Mercedes-Benz Brand Centres and the German Mercedes-Benz customer centres, featuring selected historic and present-day exhibits to illustrate the influence the invention of the motor-car had on society and to bear witness to Mercedes-Benz’s power of innovation – not least keeping an eye on the future of mobility. In addition, Daimler will implement a travelling exhibition of classic vehicles, which is to tour selected shopping centres throughout Germany and thus make automobile history tangible for millions of people.
Mercedes-Benz as sponsor of the 2011 Automobile Summer
The State of Baden-Württemberg celebrates the invention of the automobile with a series of events under the heading “Automobile Summer 2011– 125 years of the automobile”. Over 125 days numerous events will take place in Baden-Württemberg, grouped into eight thematic blocks: Family & Children, Origin & History, Art, Culture & Lifestyle, Technology & Research, Travel & Pleasure, Environment & Sustainability, Motor sport & Tuning as well as Wellness & Health. Five of these are planned in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim, the Lake of Constance region and Mannheim. The event series will begin in Stuttgart on May 8 to finish in Mannheim on September 10. Daimler is actively supporting the 2011 Automobile Summer with its brand Mercedes-Benz acting as a sponsor.
Mercedes-Benz says “Thank you”
Starting in mid-August Mercedes-Benz will initiate activities in Stuttgart, planned to take place on several days and intended to enable members of the public to participate actively in the jubilee celebrations. An international soccer match between the German National Team and the Brazilian selection in the reconditioned Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart on August 10, 2011 will be the kick-off; Mercedes-Benz acting as “Sponsor of the day”. On subsequent days Mercedes-Benz will offer multi-media performances, vehicle exhibitions and, both for young and old, a glimpse at the future of the motor car.
This “Thank you” event will also be incorporated in the event calendar of the Automobile Summer of the State of Baden-Württemberg.
In addition, this summer Mercedes-Benz, working in close cooperation with the international Mercedes-Benz Clubs in Berlin is organising the biggest Mercedes-Benz meeting of all times.
Employees’ celebration and 125 projects for sustainability
Past success and particularly the future development of the automobile is due in the highest degree to the commitment and enthusiasm of Daimler’s approximately 270,000 employees all around the world. For this reason in the coming year numerous measures, activities and projects will take place that focus on staff members. Thus in 2011 at virtually all the Daimler locations around the world, employee and family festivities will be organised. The celebrations at the multiple Daimler locations are intended as a “thank-you” to the workforce. Apart from this, in different events, Daimler will raffle invitations to the celebration in January, tickets for the international football match in the Mercedes-Benz Arena and numerous other prizes.
There will be a very special event to honour employees’ social involvement: “We move it! – 125 employee projects for sustainability”. Employees in Germany can apply presenting environment- and community-related projects to which they dedicate their free time as volunteers. A jury of experts will select 125 projects which will then be supported or financed by Daimler with up to 5,000 Euros per project. Every employee already working, or wishing to work, for a non-profit organisation or in a public corporation can take part. Applications can be submitted starting January 29, 2011. Similar campaigns will be started in other countries such as Brazil and France.
Navigation point “Tradition” now new at www.daimler.com
As of now those interested can find all the information they wish concerning company history on the internet page www.daimler.com under the new navigation point “Tradition” in the tab “Company”. Apart from a chronological company history, users will find here special topics which illustrate interesting facts of the company history, such as the history of safety developments, the history behind the Mercedes-Benz brand name, Mercedes-Benz concept vehicles, research vehicles of Mercedes-Benz, the history of innovations, etc. Under “Leaders and Personalities” visitors can learn more about leaders and flamboyant personalities from the history of the company, such as, for instance, Karl Maybach, Emil Jellinek, Ferdinand Porsche, Béla Barényi, Fritz Nallinger and many others.
125 years of innovation in automotive construction
When Carl Benz registered his Patent number 37435 in Berlin on January 29, 1886, nobody could possibly have imagined the triumphant march the modern motor car would embark upon over the following 125 years. Less than 100 kilometres away, and almost at the same time, Swabian inventor and entrepreneur Gottlieb Daimler was working on his motor wagon, to which he gave the finishing touches that very year. However, both had to wait some years before the groundbreaking development they had succeeded in initiating became a profitable commercial proposition.
The long road to the birth of the modern-day automobile
As far back as the eighteenth century there had been first experiments with automobiles driven by steam engines, in particular in England and France. In the course of the 19th century countless engineers, developers and inventors all over Europe worked at the further development of steam engines. Electric motors were also tried for the first time. However, the decisive steps that led to Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz’s invention of the modern motor car took place in Germany with the invention of the four-stroke engine (gas engine) by Nikolaus August Otto.
Both Daimler and his congenial partner, Wilhelm Maybach, as well as Carl Benz realised that their opportunity lay in the reduction of size and weight of the engine coupled with an increase in power output at the same time. The resoluteness with which Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler developed their ideas further, and patented, implemented and tested them to finally lead to their application in series production and market maturity, makes them the fathers of an invention that was to change the world – socially, culturally and economically.
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