So who invented the car?

When he talked about rebuilding the U.S. auto industry in his address to Congress Tuesday night, President Barack Obama might have been a tad too nationalistic.

The nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it, Obama said.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. communications chief Geoff Day was thrilled to hear it. His e-mailed response: "Don't worry Mr President, the Germans have no intentions of walking away from it, least of all the company that invented the car."

Geoff was undoubtedly smiling ear to ear.

And Josef Ernst, PR head of Daimlerıs heritage unit, also was happy for the recognition: "We'd be glad to provide a test drive with one of our replicas. Great fun at a top speed of 16 kilometers if somewhat shaky."

Even our own Library of Congress says that Karl Benz, a German, pretty much invented the automobile. (To be fair, it does point out that the answer isn't really straightforward).

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