A tradition of progress

 

Webasto Group based in Stockdorf near Munich has been a family-owned business ever since the company was founded in 1901. The name comes from the initials Wilhelm Baier, Stockdorf. In the beginning, the company produced stamped parts, wire holders and home appliances. Today, Webasto develops, produces and sells complete roof and convertible roof systems as well as heating, cooling and ventilation systems at more than 50 locations. Furthermore, Webasto is one of the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide.

 

Today

Today

Plant Opening Baoding

The official inauguration of its plant in Baoding (Hebei province) on May 5, 2017 marks yet another expansion of the Webasto production network for roof systems in China. With this strategic step, Webasto increases its production capacity in the company’s largest single market, with the aim of satisfying the continuing increase in demand for sunroofs and panorama roofs even more efficiently.

Takeover of the Electronics Service Provider Schaidt Innovations

Effective January 1, 2017, Webasto has completed a takeover of the electronics service provider Schaidt Innovations GmbH & Co. KG, based in Wörth-Schaidt, Germany. The business in Wörth-Schaidt will continue to operate with around 170 employees and will be absorbed ...
Effective January 1, 2017, Webasto has completed a takeover of the electronics service provider Schaidt Innovations GmbH & Co. KG, based in Wörth-Schaidt, Germany. The business in Wörth-Schaidt will continue to operate with around 170 employees and will be absorbed into the Webasto Group bearing the name Webasto Mechatronics. By adding its own in-house electronics production, the acquisition enables Webasto to strengthen its systems competence and capability.
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Starting Shot for New Construction

On 22 July 2015, Webasto celebrates the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new Webasto administration and development center in Stockdorf. “This new building, in which we are investing almost 40 million euro, is a cross-generational project that will make its mark well into the future”, said Dr. Engelmann in his keynote address.

Expansion in China

In 2014, the number 10 Webasto production plant was inaugurated in Shenyang, in North-East China. With this step, Webasto is confirming the clear signal to its OE customers: “We are nearby our customers”. In Shenyang Webasto customers can be reached within a distance of around 10 km. 

Change on the top

Dr. Holger Engelmann takes over the chair of the Webasto SE management board from Franz-Josef Kortüm, who switches after 13 years on the top into the supervisory board. 

New corporate structure

The former Webasto AG is transferred to Webasto SE (Holding). The two corporate divisions for roof and thermo systems were spun off into legally autonomous companies, also in the legal form of SE: Webasto Roof & Components SE and Webasto Thermo & Comfort SE. Both companies are owned 100% by Webasto SE.

Diavia Acquisition

Webasto takes over the Diavia air-conditioning business division for off-road and special vehicles from Delphi Automotive Italia. The goal ist, to become a leading system supplier for heating and cooling products from one source in the off-highway and special vehicle market.

75 Years Sunroof Systems

Starting with the first folding roof in serial production for Daimler-Benz in 1937, the Webasto automotive history began.

25 Years Cabrio feeling

The story of the Convertible Roofs unit began with the start of the production for the BMW 3 series cabrio. 

Next-generation parking heater

The new Thermo Top Evo heater is the lightest in its class.

Expansion with full pressure

With the acquisition of Karmann North America, Webasto extends its position as market leader for convertible roofs. For the first time ever, the Webasto Group achieves sales of around two billion Euro.

Acquisition despite the crisis

During the economic crisis in 2009, Webasto acquires the convertible division of Edscha – the largest acquisition Webasto ever did in the company history.

Webasto goes East

With the openening of the plant in Arad, Webasto steps into Eastern Europe. Today, the plant in Romania is one of the largest production sites for sunroofs of the Webasto Group. 

Expansion

In 2008, the new head office of Thermo & Comfort in Gilching is officially opened.

Large for small

The Smart fortwo has the largest fixed vehicle roof made of polycarbonate in the world.

First steps in China

In 2001, Webasto enters the fast-growing Chinese market and starts its first roof serial production in Shanghai.

100 Years Webasto

Webasto celebrates its hundredth birthday at the headquarters in Stockdorf near Munich.

Smart Convertible Roof

An attractive, small and modern car: the first convertible roof of Webasto is one of the most modern of its time. It can be opened and closed during travel – just like a sliding roof.

Change in Management

Franz Josef Kortüm becomes Chairman of the Management Board of Webasto. He takes the chair of Prof. Rudi Noppen, who led the company since 1992 as the first external manager. Werner Baier already took over the role as Chairman of the Supervisory Board in 1995.

A Glass Roof for the Porsche Targa

For the Porsche Targa, Webasto builds an entire roof module in 1995, which is completely made of glass. This can be steplessly opened backwards.

The billion score

For the first time, the Webasto Group achieves sales of over one billion DM.

Neubrandenburg - New perspectives

During a difficult economic situation, Webasto founds a new production plant in Neubrandenburg. The former VEB Sirokko converts into a modern plant for parking heaters. 

Solar on top

The Audi A80 Coupé is equipped with the first sunroof with mono-crystalline solar cells for parking ventilation, which provides ventilation while closed. 

On a growth track

Following Utting, Schierling becomes the third Webasto plant in Germany. After the opening, the production of sunroofs for BMW and Ford starts at the new plant. 

New market Japan

With the founding of the joint-venture Daikyo Webasto in Japan, Webasto early enters the Asian market. In 1999, Webasto takes over the entire shares and is producing sunroofs sucessfully for the Japanese automotive industry since then.

Time to reform

Werner Baier becomes managing director of the company. During his leadership, he sets the course for a successful future and reforms follow. Among others, the company gets separated into the devisions roof and thermo.

The Glass Roof starts its success story

The first glass roof brings light and a generous sense of space in the Ford Fiesta. Although it is not able to slide, it is able to pop-out in the rear part. Just five years later, the first pop-up sliding glass roof will be installed in serial production.

Webasto goes USA

In 1974, Webasto steps into the United States and founds its first subsidiary Webasto Sunroof Inc. in Detroit as a joint venture with Magna. In 2000, Webasto finally takes over the entire company shares.

Sunroof

The largest steel sunroof ever built by Webasto tops the Mercedes 600, which is featured on the IAA in September 1963. Since this time, it is possible to install a Webasto steel sunroof in every Mercedes model.

Warm car everytime

For the first time, the auxilliary heater P10 brings warm air into the Porsche 356 and supports the engine in heating.

Pioneer Work

Webasto delivers the first steel sunroof to Daimler-Benz – on order for the types 180 till 220 as well as for the 300er special class („Adenauer“). 

End of bycycle part production

The business with bicycle parts becomes unprofitable in the post-war period and is completely quit in 1955. Following this, Webasto concentrates on vendor parts for motorcycles and the rapidly growing passenger-car-market.

More than hot air

In 1936, Robert von Linde and Walter Baier talk for the first time about an engine-independent heater on the IAA, but due to the years of war, the heater is not developed to this time. As "Model 65" for buses, it is finally presented in 1955.

Years of war 1939 - 1945

In the years of war Webasto supplies Daimler-Benz with exhaust gas heating systems for trucks and BMW with aluminium parts for encasing aviation engines. During this time, Webasto employes 137 forced labourers. It is against this background that in 2000, the company takes part in the Germany private sector's foundation initiative, to compensate forced labour exploited during the Nazi era.

First folding roof for a manufacterer

The first folding roof in serial production is integrated into the "Panorama-Bus". Afterwards, the serial production for passenger cars begins. With immediate effect, the folding roof is integrated into the Mercedes 170 of Daimler-Benz.

Webasto puts the heating on

Development of the first heater for buses as well as engine-independent heaters for passenger cars. The so-called "Flüstertüte" uses the process of a heat exchanging device.  

On four Wheels

Webasto steps into the automotive business. In 1932, Wilhelm Baier develops the so-called “Baier folding roof", which is the first folding roof of Webasto. In the middle of the 30s, every car can be changed over to a "Sun-Limousine". Furthermore, Webasto produces large metal sheets in 1932 with a 400 ton press in the sheet metal workshop.

On two Wheels

Within the 20´s, the bicycle is a popular means of transportation and the bicycle industry booms. Webasto focuses on bicycle fragments like mudguards, gear boxes, carriers and bars.

Three generations of Baier family

In 1917, Wilhelm Baier passes the company management to his sons, which ran the company until 1956. Walter Baier follows.

Sowing Machine

In addition to bicycle parts and other metallic parts, sowing machines belong to the  production program of Webasto in 1914.

Move to Stockdorf/Bavaria

In 1908, the factory for stamped parts, wire holders and home appliances moves from Esslingen to Stockdorf. The company founder Wilhelm Baier Senior creates the new name Webasto out of his initials and the toponym Stockdorf. The power of the river Würm is used to move the machines. 

Foundation

At the age of 55, Wilhelm Baier founds a company that goes by the name of: „Esslinger Draht und Eisenwarenfabrik Wilhelm Baier, Esslingen/Neckar“.