On January 29, 1886, Carl Benz registered a patent for his “vehicle with gas-engine drive” with the Berlin Patent Office – marking the birth of the modern automobile.

125 years later, the Daimler Group is celebrating this anniversary with the motto “125! years inventor of the automobile.” On the occasion of the anniversary, the Group is rewarding the special efforts made by the workforce in recent years and is paying out a total of 125 million euros as a special bonus to its employees all over the world. In addition, Daimler’s Management and Employee Council have decided on a performance participation bonus of 3,150 euros for each entitled employee of Daimler AG who is paid according to collective bargaining agreements.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The invention of Daimler and Benz has changed the world for the better – and it will continue to do so. As the inventor of the automobile, we will be at the forefront of shaping future mobility: with inspiring products, strong brands, green technologies and innovations. Daimler’s success depends above all on its employees, who have the motivation and ability to deliver top performance every day. This special bonus is intended as recognition of that outstanding commitment – not least for the efforts and achievements of the recent past.”

Erich Klemm, Chairman of the Daimler Group’s Employee Council and World Employee Committee, stated: “125 years of the automobile would not have been possible without 125 years of people’s ideas, efforts and commitment to the development and construction of motor vehicles. So of course we are delighted with the special anniversary bonus that honors many years of hard work by the employees. In our view, it is especially positive that for the first time, a bonus is to be paid out to all of the Group’s employees all over the world. Daimler’s excellent performance last year is also due to the persistence and great efforts of our workforce. With the performance participation bonus for 2010, we have been able to agree on appropriate recognition.”

Up to 1,000 euros per employee
With the special anniversary bonus, each employee will receive a payment of up to 1,000 euros depending on his or her length of time at the Group. By grading the bonus, Daimler deliberately wants to show special recognition for the contributions made towards the Group’s success by those employees who have been at the Group for a long time. All employees who have been at Daimler for more than one year are eligible for a bonus, which will be paid out at the end of February. The Daimler Group employs a total workforce of approximately 260,000 people, approximately 165,000 of whom work in Germany.

Decision on performance participation bonus for 2010
The special efforts made by the workforce last year will be rewarded with a performance participation bonus of 3,150 euros per person to be paid out together with the special anniversary bonus. This has been agreed upon by the Management and the Employee Council for the year 2010.

Dr. Zetsche: “Our employees made an important contribution to Daimler’s strong comeback last year, and fully deserve this performance participation bonus.”

As in the past, the performance participation bonus is to be distributed to all entitled employees of Daimler AG in Germany who are paid according to collective bargaining agreements, and for the first time, also to apprentices and trainees, university students on dual courses, and doctoral students. As usual, the performance participation bonus will be paid out at the end of April.