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The company was founded by Nikolaus Otto, inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion engine, in 1864 as N. A. Otto & Cie. Other famous names who worked for Deutz are Eugen Langen, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Prosper L'Orange and Ettore Bugatti. In the early years Otto and his partner, lawyer Eugen Langen, were interested only in stationary engines, not in automobiles. In the middle 1870s, technical director Gottlieb Daimler, agitating for production of automobiles, was transferred to the company's St. Petersburg factory to reduce his influence. He resigned, taking Wilhelm Maybach with him.
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