125 years ago – on 29 January 1886: Carl Benz filed the patent application for his three-wheeled "automobile with gas-engine drive". German Patent number 37,435, dated 2 November 1886, is seen as the "birth certificate" of the automobile. Daimler AG will hold a ceremony to celebrate the start of the anniversary year.
115 years ago – on 14 January 1896: Henry Lawson founded Daimler Motor Company Ltd., the oldest automobile manufacturer in the United Kingdom.
100 years ago – on 01 January 1911: Through the acquisition of southern German automobile manufacturer Gaggenau GmbH, Benz added a complete range of commercial vehicles to his portfolio at a single stroke. At the turn of the year, the company was renamed to Benzwerke Gaggenau GmbH.
60 years ago – on 23 January 1951: The patent application was filed for the safety passenger compartment. Invented by Béla Barényi and protected under patent number 854,157, this invention still forms the basis of the passive safety systems used in automotive engineering to this day.
40 years ago – on 21 January 1971: Daimler-Benz introduced the new L 206 D and L 306 D light vans at the Düsseldorf plant. Based on the Hanomag-Henschel F 20 to F 35 model series, the updated vans stood out for their new equipment features.
35 years ago – on 1 January 1976: This was the day that wearing a seat belt became compulsory in Germany for drivers and front seat passengers. Front seat belts had already been fitted as standard to all Mercedes-Benz passenger car models since 1973. The company first offered seat belts as early as 1957 on the 300 SL Roadster model.
35 years ago – on 7 January 1976: The first standard production Unimog U 120 rolled off the line at the Gaggenau plant.
35 years ago – on 27 January 1976: Mercedes-Benz introduced the mid-range 123 series at Bandol in the south of France, which comprised the models 200 D, 220 D, 240 D, 300 D, 200, 230, 250, 280 and 280 E. These superseded the "Stroke Eight" models in the 114/115 series and went on to become one of the most successful Mercedes-Benz model series of all time. The cars are now sought-after modern classics.
30 years ago – from 25 January to 1 February 1981: International press launch in Rovaniemi, Finland of anti-lock braking (ABS) for commercial vehicles, developed in collaboration with brake manufacturer WABCO.
20 years ago – from 12 to 20 January 1991: Mercedes-Benz unveiled the F 100 concept car at the American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car sported numerous innovative design features.
15 years ago – in January 1996: The O 405 GNÜ and O 405 NK low-floor articulated rural-service buses debuted at the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach Show in Frankfurt am Main.
15 years ago – from 6 to 15 January 1996: Mercedes-Benz displayed the future of the four-wheel drive sports utility vehicle, its AAVision concept car, at the North American International Auto Show. This incorporated design elements that would later feature on the M-Class.
15 years ago – from 11 to 21 January 1996: The new Vito light van was presented to the general public for the first time at the Geneva Commercial Vehicle Show. In the same year, the Vito was chosen as Van of the Year.