History

  • The firm is founded by Mr. Willi Elbe
  • The prime movers in the early days were beside the founder, the first authorized signatory, Mr. Max Kiemle and the first technical manager, qualified engineer Mr. Paul Ilg
  • Entered in the company register in May 1951 "Willi Elbe Fabrik for cardan shafts, Tamm"
  • Production of motorcycle cardan shafts and first deliveries to BMW
  • Production of cardan shafts and steering cross-sets

1951

1952

  • In May the company is entered in the register as "Willi Elbe, cardan shaft company with limited liability (GmbH), Tamm/Württ."
  • Production of cardan shafts for automobiles
  • As the head of the technical department, Lothar Meyle (1953-2001) strongly influenced the company's technologica

  • Branch factory Grabs founded in Switzerland

 

1960

1966

  • Lack of labor in the central Neckar region results in a branch factory being opened in Pfedelbach
  • The first production location there was the old wine-pressing house, which was used temporarily until the first new building could be constructed

  • The second generation of the family enters the firm: Brigitte Wohak, née Elbe, gradually takes over Accounts and Human Resources

1972

1977

  • Production of steering u-joints for passenger cars

  • The second generation of the family enters the firm again: Günter Hans Elbe gradually takes over the technical department

1978

1980

  • Production of aluminium steering shafts

  • Production of high-precision gearing components for motorcycles (K series)

1984

1986

  • Expansion of the plant in Grabs to create more production space

  • Start of Steering column production for commercial vehicles

1988

1990

  • Production of steering shafts with ball-bearing sliding systems for commercial vehicles

  • Foundation of the company Lenkungstechnik in Walldorf / Thuringia
  • Günter Hans Elbe takes over as manager of the entire company

1992

1994

  • Production of laser-welded aluminum corrugated tube

  • Production of complete steering modules with manual adjustment and jacket tubes of magnesium
  • New branch factory built in Rippershausen / Thuringia

1996

1997

  • Partnership for Development with the company of C. Robert Hammerstein (today: Johnson Controls)
  • Development of complete, electrically adjustable steering modules

  • Production of lightweight steering shafts with centered double cardan joints

1998

2000

  • introduction of hydroforming technology in the production of structural components for steering columns

  • Acquisition of steering column division of Raufoss Technology / Norway
  • Production of complete, electrically adjustable steering modules
  • Expansion of factory in Tamm, production area
  • 50th anniversary of the Willi Elbe Group

2001

2002

  • Expansion of factory in Pfedelbach, assembly area for steering columns
  • The third generation of the family enters the firm: Alexander Wohak takes over as manager in Rippershausen

  • Expansion of the factory in Rippershausen, production and assembly area, administration

2004

2005

  • Mr. Alexander Wohak changes into Headquarter and starts his career on sales.

  • Implementation of plastic injection molding technology at the Rippershausen plant for producing sliding systems for steering columns

2006

2007

  • Expansion of headquarter in Tamm
  • New space for development, purchasing and sales

  • Expansion of the Pfedelbach plant, steering-column assembly department

2008

2009

  • Mr. Alexander Wohak joins Management, with power to act and sign on behalf of the firm

  • Winners of the Daimler Supplier Award
  • 50-year anniversary of the Swiss site in Grabs

2010

2012

  • Preparations for a further production plant in Nanjing, China
  • Strategic focus on lightweight components for automotive technology – and expansion in the commercial vehicle sector

  • Generation Change in the Board. Alexander Wohak gets Managing Director
  • Susanne Wohak, Ralf Sedlmeier, Volker Herre and Martin Reichert getting procuration for relevant business units.

2013

2014

  • Oliver Schmid reinforces the management team of the willi elbe group as a further authorized signatory

  • Preparations for a further production plant in Kuklén, Bulgaria

2015

2016

  • Preparations for a further production plant in Valle de Santiago, Mexico
  • New Testing Center in Tamm, Germany
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