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From workshop to world market leader

125 years of Dürr – few companies can look back at a history as long and rich as ours. We are using the anniversary as an opportunity to take a look into the past and retrace our journey all the way from workshop to world market leader.

Laying the foundation during the German Empire

In 1896, at the time of German Emperor William II., Paul Dürr founds a metal shop for roof flashing in Cannstatt near Stuttgart. Known in German as ‘Bauflaschnerei‘, this is what plumbing businesses or tinsmith workshops are still called in southern Germany today. The workshop carries out metal work on roofs and facades, soon gaining an excellent reputation. Even during the foundation phase, its order books are healthy, projects become more complex and the scope increases. However, the outbreak of World War I brings Dürr’s growth to an abrupt end.

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He sets up a metal shop for roof flashing, thus laying the foundation for today’s Dürr Group." }, "unique_id": 104 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1896", "display_date": "1896" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1900", "display_date": "1900" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/0/csm_duerr-1896-gruenderhaus_a1e5d66433.jpg", "caption": "The roots of the Dürr Group: the first premises at Brunnenstraße in Cannstatt near Stuttgart.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/0/csm_duerr-1896-gruenderhaus_f1fd26d498.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": " A successful start", "text": "In his small workshop, Paul Dürr and his four apprentices specialize in the production and assembly of roofs, guttering, stove pipes, cornices and ornaments made of sheet metal and copper. The young company is quickly regarded as efficient and reliable." }, "unique_id": 105 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1898", "display_date": "1898" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1898", "display_date": "1898" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/b/csm_duerr-1898-flaschnerei-hofenerstrasse_39417da8de.jpg", "caption": "The company grows with its success. Larger premises are soon required.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/b/csm_duerr-1898-flaschnerei-hofenerstrasse_5d01572633.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Initial expansion", "text": "In 1898 the metal shop for roof flashing receives its first large order: the production, delivery and assembly of all the stove pipes for the artillery barracks in Cannstatt. Since the Brunnenstraße premises are too small to fulfill the order, the workshop needs to move to a larger site after just two years. Paul Dürr buys a residential building with storerooms and sets up a workplace that is remarkably modern for its time." }, "unique_id": 106 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1904", "display_date": "1904" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1904", "display_date": "1904" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/a/csm_duerr-1904-belegschaft_2f9993df9f.jpg", "caption": "The workforce at the beginning of the 20th century. Among them: the young Otto (far left wearing a hat). Also with hat: proud company founder Paul Dürr (center).", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/1/csm_duerr-1907-belegschaft_19e592f5ee.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "The next budding entrepreneur", "text": "Otto Dürr is born on March 4, 1904. After daughters Elisabeth, Martha and Lydia, he is the family’s fourth child. Being the only son, he gets a taste of entrepreneurship early on and eventually follows in his father’s footsteps. He completes an apprenticeship as a tinsmith outside the family business and later takes over Dürr’s management." }, "unique_id": 107 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1913", "display_date": "1913" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1913", "display_date": "1913" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/0/csm_duerr-1913-brief-hofflaschnermeister_dc831ec717.jpg", "caption": "Paul Dürr is awarded the titel of ‘Master Tinsmith to the Court of Württemberg’. (Source: Archives of the House of Wuerttemberg, Altshausen castle)", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/0/csm_duerr-1913-brief-hofflaschnermeister_93f864b349.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "An honorable award", "text": "When King William II of Württemberg commissions the construction of the Stuttgart Arts Building, he entrusts the roofing to Dürr’s metal shop for roof flashing. The skill and craftsmanship displayed in this challenging project earns Paul Dürr the title of ‘Master Tinsmith to the Court of Württemberg’ in 1913. The corresponding letter formally declares: “The work delivered as well as Dürr’s personal conduct satisfied the site management.”" }, "unique_id": 108 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1917", "display_date": "1917" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1917", "display_date": "1917" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/7/2/csm_duerr-1917-haertekaesten_a0489f536d.jpg", "caption": "By offering sheet metal products, the business manages to overcome those times that threaten its very existence.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/7/2/csm_duerr-1917-haertekaesten_24fb8ea62c.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Necessity is the mother of invention", "text": "During World War I, in times of extreme material shortage, Paul Dürr buys thousands of old sugarloaf molds made of iron in order to make many different household objects. This leads to the creation of a separate sheet metal processing business, independent of the metal shop for roof flashing, in the Swabian workshop in 1917. Dürr’s new products include wash coppers, watering cans, annealing boxes and safes." }, "unique_id": 109 } ] }

The ups and downs of the interwar period

The turmoil of the post-war years initially offers the boss and his employees not a breath of respite. In 1923, which marks a crisis in the Weimar Republic, Paul’s son Otto joins the company. From the very beginning, the job requires more than just the manual skills of the tinsmith’s apprentice. He has to manage the company on behalf of his sick father and lead it out of recession following a period of inflation. The boom of the ‘Golden Twenties’ and the global economic crisis continue to leave their mark on the Dürr company’s further development.

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During the inflation in Germany, it is once again the processing of thinly rolled metal that leads the company out of the crisis." }, "unique_id": 110 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1923", "display_date": "1923" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1923", "display_date": "1923" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/2/e/csm_duerr-1923-rudern_f03f016fb1.jpg", "caption": "Rowing is one of Otto Dürr’s (center) favorite pastimes.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/2/e/csm_duerr-1923-rudern_2f711103a0.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Otto Dürr enters the business", "text": "Following his school years, the young Otto Dürr begins his apprenticeship in a tinsmith business in Heilbronn. He completes his final apprenticeship examination there in 1923. He then joins his father’s business where, a few years later, he earns the title of master craftsman. Outside of work, Otto Dürr enjoys all kinds of sports, especially rowing. After becoming a successful competitive rower in the 1920s, he would later lead the Cannstatt Rowing Club." }, "unique_id": 111 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1925", "display_date": "1925" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1925", "display_date": "1925" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/9/csm_duerr-1925-erster-firmenwagen_bbce5a6928.jpg", "caption": "Dürr’s first company car also serves for employees’ driving lessons.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/9/csm_duerr-1925-erster-firmenwagen_632ecc0954.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Dürr focuses on cars", "text": "In 1925 ‘motorized mobility’ plays an important role at the Cannstatt workshop for two reasons. Paul Dürr buys the first automobile: an old ‘Adler’. For many years it serves as a company car and is also used for driving lessons. In the same year, contact with the automotive industry intensifies – an industry which has been seeing buoyant activity in the immediate neighborhood. Some initial requests from this industry prompt Paul Dürr to raise the profile of his power tools for processing stronger sheet metal." }, "unique_id": 112 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1928", "display_date": "1928" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1928", "display_date": "1928" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/e/csm_duerr-1928-hochzeit_b407cd2461.jpg", "caption": "The Dürr business couple.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/e/csm_duerr-1928-hochzeit_9f74b072fa.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "A good team", "text": "On November 4, 1928, Otto Dürr marries Barbara ‘Betty’ Riedl. For more than 40 years, Betty works alongside her husband and is regarded as the soul and commercial conscience of the company. With her calm manner, Betty is a welcome counterbalance to Otto’s headstrong temperament." }, "unique_id": 113 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1929", "display_date": "1929" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1929", "display_date": "1929" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/d/e/csm_duerr-1929-maschinenstaender_ce60d2ec26.jpg", "caption": "In the late 1920s, machine stands become Dürr’s key products.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/d/e/csm_duerr-1929-maschinenstaender_aa26d61cd6.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "An independent branch", "text": "In the late 1920s, the sheet metal workshop becomes an independent branch. While the metal shop for roof flashing remains a ‘true’ handicraft workshop for a long time, the sheet metal workshop relies on the use of increasingly powerful machines and becomes more and more akin to industrial manufacturing, mainly due to the division of labor. Soon the employees also manufacture heavy, welded machine bodies and steel structures." }, "unique_id": 114 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1932", "display_date": "1932" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1932", "display_date": "1932" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/6/csm_duerr-1932-otto-duerr_bb1983f2d4.jpg", "caption": "Otto Dürr (*1904; † 1987)", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/6/csm_duerr-1932-otto-duerr_eef1629311.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Handing over the business", "text": "In 1932 Otto Dürr takes over the management of his father’s business. During the time of the handover, the company must be steered through turbulent times. Although the global economic crisis in Germany has already passed its peak, the effects have also left deep marks on the Cannstatt workshop. The workforce has shrunk from 40 to just seven employees, and the company is removed from the Commercial Register due to its insufficient business volume." }, "unique_id": 115 } ] }

The period of National Socialism

A modern branch is established in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, a design office is installed, and the third generation of the Dürr family business grows up – these events are overshadowed by more radical developments in the 1930s. With the seizing of power by the National Socialists begins the darkest chapter in German history.

{ "events": [ { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1933", "display_date": "1933" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1933", "display_date": "1933" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/6/csm_duerr-1933-familie-duerr_93d79f51f2.jpg", "caption": "Otto and Betty Dürr, together with their sons Reinhold (left, * 1936, † 2003) and Heinz (* 1933)", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/6/csm_duerr-1933-familie-duerr_704fb6e4fc.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "The third generation grows up", "text": "Heinz Dürr is born on July 16, 1933. Three years later, on April 25, 1936, his younger brother Reinhold comes into the world. Heinz Dürr soon grows into taking responsibility for his father’s company. Under his direction, many strategic priorities are set, forming the basis for the continued success of the company." }, "unique_id": 116 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1936", "display_date": "1936" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1936", "display_date": "1936" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/9/csm_duerr-1936-zweigbetrieb-stuttgart_6ad51020b9.jpg", "caption": "The branch in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/9/csm_duerr-1936-zweigbetrieb-stuttgart_a7c4ec6cb3.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Establishing a branch", "text": "The economic policy of the National Socialists focuses on self-reliance and rearmament. This initially leads to a noticeable upswing for German industry. It is not long before Dürr’s order books also look healthy again. There is no longer sufficient capacity in Cannstatt. In search of new premises, Otto Dürr finds what he needs in the Stuttgart district of Zuffenhausen. While the newly acquired premises are used to establish a modern production site, the main plant in Cannstatt becomes a workshop for apprentices, since the company is training more and more new recruits." }, "unique_id": 117 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1937", "display_date": "1937" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1937", "display_date": "1937" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/e/6/csm_duerr-1937-blechstaender_2f03826996.jpg", "caption": "Insight into the production space", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/e/6/csm_duerr-1937-blechstaender_e298f79508.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "The first drawing board", "text": "As the company continues to grow, the first engineer joins the team and the first drawing board is being purchased. This heralds the beginning of the engineering era at Dürr. A design office is established, now enabling more complex sheet metal products to be manufactured." }, "unique_id": 118 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1939", "display_date": "1939" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1945", "display_date": "1945" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/6/8/csm_duerr-1939-nsu-kettenrad_ad2845720c.jpg", "caption": "The ‘Kettenrad’", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/6/8/csm_duerr-1939-nsu-kettenrad_091c68e0d0.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "The Second World War", "text": "The invasion of Poland by the German army on September 1, 1939, triggers the Second World War. As a supplier of base and side parts for the 'Kettenkrad', a half-track motorcycle, Dürr is part of the Nazi arms industry. During the course of the war, Dürr also increasingly uses forced labor. At times, these laborers make up more than half of the workforce. In 1943 the business has over 80 employees.
\r\nIn 1943 the main plant in Cannstatt is completely destroyed during a night-time air raid. Dürr subsequently moves all its activities into the Zuffenhausen premises, which only sustains minor damage during the war.
\r\nHistorians are currently delving into Dürr’s entire history during the Nazi era, which will be presented in the course of the anniversary year." }, "unique_id": 119 } ] }

Entry into plant engineering

Otto Dürr, in search of a new business field in post-war Germany, ventures into plant engineering. The company becomes a sought-after specialist in this field during the German economic miracle era. In 1957 Heinz Dürr becomes the third generation to join the family business. A few years later he takes on a role in the company’s management, alongside his father, and increasingly becomes a driving force. Heinz Dürr makes a conscious decision to align the company’s development closely to the booming automotive industry.

{ "events": [ { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1950", "display_date": "1950" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1950", "display_date": "1950" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/8/csm_duerr-1950-erste-duerr-anlage_1429288d41.jpg", "caption": "Pioneering development: the first plant for surface treatment.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/8/csm_duerr-1950-erste-duerr-anlage_535d05c2a5.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "The first Dürr plant", "text": "The Dürr company completes its first self-built surface treatment plant: a phosphating plant for disk wheels. The plant proves so successful that it has a patent filed and earns Dürr its first laurels in surface technology. It does not take long before more projects are awarded. Orders are received from Bosch and Daimler-Benz, whose trust has already been won during years of cooperation in the field of sheet metal processing." }, "unique_id": 120 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1955", "display_date": "1955" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1955", "display_date": "1955" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/a/csm_duerr-1955-neue-werkshalle_04aaf7de14.jpg", "caption": "The company grows with its success.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/a/csm_duerr-1955-neue-werkshalle_80851bc7f2.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "More space to grow", "text": "Since, in recent years, the number of employees and the order volume have seen strong growth and the company has been expanded to include an additional department, by the mid-1950s it is almost impossible for the existing premises to accommodate these activities. A further property is acquired to enlarge the premises. This is to house two production shops." }, "unique_id": 121 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1957", "display_date": "1957" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1957", "display_date": "1957" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/f/csm_duerr-1957-bugatti_7971699b16.jpg", "caption": "The young Heinz Dürr in front of his first car.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/f/csm_duerr-1957-bugatti_2fbca05a19.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Heinz Dürr", "text": "Heinz Dürr joins the family business, which has managed to increase its sales in the last seven years from just under one to over four million Deutsche Mark. “I wanted to make the company big. We had good products and I was proud of these products. I wanted to go out into the world and was convinced that the world needed and wanted our machines”, recalls the company founder’s grandson years later. " }, "unique_id": 122 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1958", "display_date": "1958" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1958", "display_date": "1958" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/0/csm_duerr-1958-kurbelwellen-waschautomat_6d4b773ed3.jpg", "caption": "A crankshaft washing device.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/0/csm_duerr-1958-kurbelwellen-waschautomat_37202920c9.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "A clean solution", "text": "Dürr enters the industrial cleaning technology business by building a machine for cleaning crankcases and cylinder blocks. Most systems are tailor-made for individual customers. The only products which are standardized, and thus manufactured on a larger scale, are certain small washing devices. But Dürr’s primary focus on individual customer requests becomes the plant engineering firm’s major strength." }, "unique_id": 123 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1960", "display_date": "1960" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1960", "display_date": "1960" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/9/d/csm_duerr-1960-otto-duerr-heinz-duerr_61843dbccc.jpg", "caption": "Otto and Heinz Dürr", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/9/d/csm_duerr-1960-otto-duerr-heinz-duerr_eab96b016c.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Father-and-son team at the top", "text": "Heinz Dürr joins the company management. He is particularly involved in plant engineering and quickly becomes the department’s entrepreneurial figure. Since the first car-body pretreatment plant was installed two years earlier, Heinz Dürr’s main goal is to intensify contact with the automotive industry." }, "unique_id": 124 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1962", "display_date": "1962" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1962", "display_date": "1962" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/c/csm_duerr-1962-ford-umbau_1f5349dc44.jpg", "caption": "The Dürr team at Ford in Cologne.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/c/csm_duerr-1962-ford-umbau_02f0b5c554.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Nothing is impossible", "text": "Dürr first makes a name for itself with the automotive industry mainly through upgrading existing plants. In 1962 the company lands a revamp project for Ford in Cologne – a memorable contract. Modernizing the paint shop within just three weeks is thought to be impossible by the competition, and Dürr's decision to take on the project is derided. However, by mobilizing all available resources – from Heinz Dürr to the youngest apprentice – the project is indeed completed as specified and on schedule." }, "unique_id": 125 } ] }

Technology partner of the international automotive industry

Automobile manufacturers are increasingly becoming key customers for Dürr. The final breakthrough on the way to becoming the industry’s technology partner is achieved with a new coating process, electrophoretic dip coating. The company positions itself as a manufacturer of painting facilities. Dürr follows its customers overseas and establishes its first foreign subsidiary in Brazil. In the following years, many additional locations are established in other countries, including Mexico, the US and South Africa. The product range in painting technology is expanded by collaborations and acquisitions. The family business becomes an internationally recognized system provider.

{ "events": [ { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1963", "display_date": "1963" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1963", "display_date": "1963" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/e/6/csm_duerr-1963-tauchlackierung_a4d118a538.jpg", "caption": "Electrophoretic dip painting is Dürr’s ticket to international business success with paint shops for the automotive industry.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/e/6/csm_duerr-1963-tauchlackierung_a55bae472a.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Electrifying new development", "text": "In compliance with utmost secrecy – only authorized persons have access to the test halls – Heinz Dürr and his engineers develop the first pilot plants for a new coating process. Paint companies and customers from the automotive industry participate in the tests. Within a few months, the development team brings the electrophoretic dip coating to market maturity. When the next Ford investment – the construction of a paint shop in Genk, Belgium – is made, this innovation of Dürr is very successful." }, "unique_id": 126 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1964", "display_date": "1964" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1964", "display_date": "1964" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/a/5/csm_duerr-1964-werk-brasilien_c2fd753950.jpg", "caption": "The establishment of the first foreign subsidiary in Brazil sent out an important signal.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/a/5/csm_duerr-1964-werk-brasilien_c7459597f7.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Taking customer orientation literally", "text": "When VW plans to expand its plant in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, the car manufacturer chooses Dürr as the supplier for the new painting line. The Stuttgart-based plant manufacturer had already proven successful at VW in Germany and therefore was favorably supported by the Wolfsburg company when the major contract in Brazil was awarded. In order to be as close as possible to the customer during order processing, Otto and Heinz Dürr decide to set up their own company in Brazil. As a result, the first foreign subsidiary is founded on December 11, 1964. The company thus sends out a clear signal: It is not only willing, but also able to expand internationally. When the Brazilian subsidiary celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, Heinz Dürr emphasizes this fact by saying: “Today, Dürr is to be found everywhere in the world where cars are built. The model for this was Dürr do Brasil. The move to Brazil has proven to our customers that Dürr is capable of working effectively on an international level. And it has shown that we can handle major projects such as the construction of the paint shop for VW in São Bernardo do Campo back then. Without the model of Dürr do Brasil, the subsequent establishments, for example in Mexico in 1966 and South Africa in 1971, would not have happened.”" }, "unique_id": 127 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1966", "display_date": "1966" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1975", "display_date": "1976" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/b/csm_duerr-1966-werk-usa_5240bdbfd3.jpg", "caption": "The company building in the US at that time.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/0/b/csm_duerr-1966-werk-usa_e79526e724.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "From Stuttgart into the world", "text": "Initially, Dürr follows in the wake of German car manufacturers that set up factories abroad. Further subsidiaries are founded in Mexico, the US, Great Britain and South Africa. After initially receiving orders from regular German customers, Dürr’s foreign subsidiaries quickly open up markets locally. Soon, Dürr has a good reputation not only with Volkswagen, Mercedes and co., but emerging automotive manufacturing nations such as South Korea also rely on the company. Within a decade, Dürr is represented both by its own companies and by cooperation partners in all important automotive markets in Europe, America, Asia and Africa." }, "unique_id": 128 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1967", "display_date": "1967" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1967", "display_date": "1967" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/2/5/csm_duerr-1967-erste-duerr-zeitung_d8c724e69f.jpg", "caption": "The first issue of the Dürr newspaper.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/2/5/csm_duerr-1967-erste-duerr-zeitung_0d985b1ecf.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Strengthening the corporate culture", "text": "Over the past few years, the rather small family business has grown into a complex and constantly expanding group of companies with more than 1,500 employees. Yet, with their Swabian down-to-earth attitude, Heinz and Heide Dürr still continue to maintain the family atmosphere and place great importance on the corporate culture. Among other things, they launch an employee newspaper, the first issue of which appears in December 1967. The Dürr newspaper covers company events of all sorts and fosters the feeling of belonging. " }, "unique_id": 129 }, { "start_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1969", "display_date": "1969" }, "end_date": { "month": "01", "day": "01", "year": "1969", "display_date": "1969" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/6/c/csm_duerr-1969-otto-duerr-heinz-duerr_345b943775.jpg", "caption": "Otto Dürr (left) retires from management in 1969.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/6/c/csm_duerr-1969-otto-duerr-heinz-duerr_9d898b586c.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "New generation takes over", "text": "After having steered the course of his own family business for more than three decades, Otto Dürr retires from management on the occasion of his 65th birthday. From that time, his son Heinz takes over sole responsibility for the group of companies, which continues to grow." }, "unique_id": 130 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1972", "display_date": "1973" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1972", "display_date": "1973" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/d/csm_duerr-1973-vertak-tauchversuche_13814b5871.jpg", "caption": "The VERTAK test facility in the backyard of the Stuttgart premises.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/d/csm_duerr-1973-vertak-tauchversuche_be5511a899.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Car bodies take a vertical plunge", "text": "Technological innovations play an important role at Dürr. The company constantly searches for new solutions, but not every idea prevails on the market. A spectacular but ultimately not very successful new development is the so-called VERTAK process (vertical dipping of car bodies). The system, in which car bodies are immersed headfirst into the treatment baths, is installed for the first time at a customer’s site in 1973. In the years that follow, however, only a few customers are interested in this method, since the cycle times are too long." }, "unique_id": 131 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1979", "display_date": "1980" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1979", "display_date": "1980" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/5/csm_duerr-1980-heinz-duerr_fe348e3f3e.jpg", "caption": "On behalf of the company AEG: Heinz Dürr on his bicycle in the center of Beijing.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/5/csm_duerr-1980-heinz-duerr_3e8e2008d0.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Heinz Dürr breaks new ground", "text": "Heinz Dürr hands over the management of the company to non-family members and devotes himself to new entrepreneurial tasks. He restructures the struggling electrical company AEG, temporarily sits on the board of Daimler, becomes head of the German Federal Railway after the reunification and takes over the chairmanship of various supervisory boards and foundations. However, he maintains close ties to “his” company, Dürr." }, "unique_id": 132 } ] }

IPO and acquisitions

The IPO in 1989 sets the course for further growth. It provides the necessary financial resources for the acquisition of the Behr Group. The takeover of the application technology specialist marks the company’s entry into the world of painting robots. Dürr succeeds in significantly expanding its core competency, the supply of turnkey paint shops, thus becoming the world market leader. Further acquisitions follow, including that of the measuring technology group Carl Schenck in 2000. However, the corporate acquisitions lead to a high level of indebtedness. As a result, Dürr experiences financial difficulties shortly after the turn of the millennium.

{ "events": [ { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1988", "display_date": "1989" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1989", "display_date": "1990" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/f/csm_duerr-1989-erste-aktie_dc6d3c497a.jpg", "caption": "The first Dürr share", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/c/f/csm_duerr-1989-erste-aktie_9e2773b729.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Stepping onto the trading floor", "text": "On January 4, 1990, Dürr shares are traded on the stock exchange for the first time. Prior to that, at the end of 1989, the holding company Dürr-Beteiligungs-GmbH was converted into a stock corporation. The Dürr family becomes majority shareholder and Heinz Dürr takes over as chairman of the supervisory board. " }, "unique_id": 133 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1988", "display_date": "1989" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1988", "display_date": "1989" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/8/csm_duerr-1989-duerr-behr-fahnen_1223e0618e.jpg", "caption": "Behr becomes part of the Dürr Group.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/8/csm_duerr-1989-duerr-behr-fahnen_277283b491.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Everything from a single source", "text": "Since the end of the 1970s, Dürr has combined almost everything needed to supply complete paint shops for the automotive industry under one roof. Only one technology is still missing: paint application. The market and technology leader in this field is the company Behr of Bietigheim-Bissingen, less than 20 kilometers from Dürr’s headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Almost the entire international automotive industry collaborates with the application technology specialist. Dürr and Behr also cooperated successfully on several major contracts in the past. In 1989, Dürr takes over the Bietigheim company, thus becoming a provider of complete painting systems. With this unique selling proposition, the company finally secures its top position in the international painting systems market." }, "unique_id": 134 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1994", "display_date": "1995" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1998", "display_date": "1999" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/6/csm_duerr-1995-gelaende-zuffenhausen_12f57e6949.jpg", "caption": "The former headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/6/csm_duerr-1995-gelaende-zuffenhausen_93ef34302e.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "On a shopping spree", "text": "At the end of the 1990s, automobile manufacturers expect their suppliers to dispose of ever-increasing innovation, technology and systems competency. While many small companies reach their limits in view of these growing demands, Dürr, as a globally positioned systems supplier, senses a huge opportunity and expands its range of products and services through a series of corporate acquisitions and investments. The acquisition of the US Premier Group in 1999 marks the company’s entry into the service business related to automotive production." }, "unique_id": 135 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1995", "display_date": "1996" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1995", "display_date": "1996" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/1/f/csm_duerr-1996-erster-roboter_6fcd9d25be.jpg", "caption": "The first Dürr painting robot", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/1/f/csm_duerr-1996-erster-roboter_0c96c657ee.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Painting robot made by Dürr", "text": "The first Dürr painting robot is introduced. This new development is the centerpiece of an innovation offensive and is very successful due to its high coating quality, fast color changes and high process reliability. Compared to the painting machines used before, Dürr’s own robot system reduces material consumption – and thus also the cost of disposal and recycling – by more than 50 percent. The market launch is the beginning of a success story that has continued over several generations of robots to this day. Dürr is still the only supplier in the world to develop robots exclusively for painting." }, "unique_id": 136 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1999", "display_date": "2000" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1999", "display_date": "2000" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/7/csm_duerr-2000-schenck-darmstadt_65c3f39a32.jpg", "caption": "Schenck has been part of the Dürr Group since 2000.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/7/csm_duerr-2000-schenck-darmstadt_4a1f4f3fdb.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Acquisition of Schenck", "text": "Shortly after the turn of the millennium, the largest acquisition in the company’s history so far takes place. The Darmstadt-based mechanical engineering company Schenck becomes part of the Group. Dürr thus opens up new areas of business: Balancing, diagnostic and filling technology, as well as final vehicle assembly technology are added to the portfolio. In the latter field, the company also intends to establish itself in the future as a system provider of turnkey solutions, similar to what was done in the painting systems business. Almost simultaneously with the Schenck acquisition, Dürr takes over the paint systems manufacturer Alstom Automation from France. The aim of that acquisition is to expand the business with the French automotive industry." }, "unique_id": 137 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2000", "display_date": "2001" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2000", "display_date": "2001" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/b/csm_duerr-2001-rodip-neu_e2f5694c73.jpg", "caption": "The central movement in the new RoDip dip coating process is a rotation on its own axis.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/b/csm_duerr-2001-rodip-neu_b8ffd1db0b.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Innovative somersault", "text": "Since 2001, Dürr has used the innovative dip painting process RoDip (short for “roll over dip”) in its projects. The product name already indicates its special feature: As the car body passes through the dip tank, it rotates once on its own axis. This “somersault” helps to ensure that all areas of the car body, including the cavities, are coated evenly. In the following years, Dürr engineers further develop the technology and optimize energy and material consumption, among other things. RoDip quickly establishes itself as the leading dip coating process in the market." }, "unique_id": 138 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "1999", "display_date": "2000" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2003", "display_date": "2004" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/1/csm_duerr-2000-neubau-zuffenhausen_c2accc9aba.jpg", "caption": "The new building on the company premises in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/1/csm_duerr-2000-neubau-zuffenhausen_c645ac34e3.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Dings in the paintwork", "text": "In 2000, a new engineering and administration building is constructed in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Otherwise, the new millennium is off to a bumpy start. On the one hand, pricing pressure increases in the business with the automotive industry. On the other hand, the Group has been burdened with a high level of financial debt since the acquisitions of Premier, Schenck and Alstom Automation. In addition, the integration of the recently acquired companies could also run more smoothly. Synergies between old and new business areas have not yet been optimally exploited. In 2003, Dürr is in the red due to high restructuring costs. Investors are shocked by profit warnings more than once and the press refers to Dürr as an “ailing plant manufacturer”." }, "unique_id": 139 } ] }

Reorientation and investment in the future

After economically difficult years, Dürr succeeds in turning the tide in 2005. The Group is becoming more agile, modern and efficient. With renewed self-confidence, the company expands its position in the emerging market of China, even during the Lehman financial crisis: a far-sighted step that really pays off. In 2014, Dürr acquires the HOMAG Group, the worldwide number one in the woodworking industry. With now three sub-groups – Dürr Systems, Schenck and HOMAG – the company is a technological leader and well positioned to meet future challenges. In order to stay ahead of the game even in the future, the focus today is on digitalization and automation, and increasingly on sustainability.

{ "events": [ { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2004", "display_date": "2005" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2004", "display_date": "2005" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/c/csm_duerr-2005-focus-logo_9cc4f5bb07.jpg", "caption": "The FOCUS optimization program helps Dürr to get back on track for success.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/8/c/csm_duerr-2005-focus-logo_599074349b.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "A FOCUS on optimizations", "text": "The focus on the core business with the automotive industry was intended to lead Dürr back on track for success. The optimization program derived from this goal bears the very fitting name FOCUS and resembles a general overhaul of the Group. The person responsible for this is the new CEO Ralf W. Dieter, who still leads the Group today. Individual business units are sold and broad-based process improvements are initiated. The working atmosphere also benefits from the changes. Venturing into new territory, thinking positively, building on old successes and thus regaining self-confidence: What was neglected in previous years is now being revived. FOCUS marks a turning point for the company in every respect." }, "unique_id": 140 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2008", "display_date": "2009" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2008", "display_date": "2009" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/d/3/csm_duerr-2009-campus-bietigheim_99bfc346fb.jpg", "caption": "One of the largest construction project in the company’s history: The Dürr Campus in Bietigheim-Bissingen.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/d/3/csm_duerr-2009-campus-bietigheim_0d960ee31d.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Moving closer together", "text": "In Germany, the Group bundles its activities relating to automotive painting at the new “Dürr Campus” in Bietigheim-Bissingen. To this end, the plant technology previously located in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen comes together under one roof with the application technology already located in Bietigheim-Bissingen. The modern campus is intended to make business processes more efficient, facilitate cooperation and further strengthen the feeling of belonging. A few years later, the campus concept is also implemented in China and the US." }, "unique_id": 141 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2009", "display_date": "2010" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2009", "display_date": "2010" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/f/csm_duerr-2010-trockenabscheidung_a77f5fbe85.jpg", "caption": "Dürr sets new standards with the EcoDryScrubber dry separation system in 2010.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/3/f/csm_duerr-2010-trockenabscheidung_208dafb825.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "New technological standards", "text": "Dürr is able to maintain its position as a technological leader with a strong spirit of innovation. The list of trend-setting new developments is long. In 2010, the EcoDryScrubber dry separation system revolutionizes the separation of overspray in paint booths of the automotive industry. With the EcoBell3, Dürr achieves a quantum leap in the field of high-speed rotating atomizers. The first 7-axis painting robot and EcoProFleet, the first automated guided vehicle specially designed for paint shops, were also developed by Dürr. In 2020, the EcoPaintJet, a groundbreaking solution for two-tone painting, is awarded the German Innovation Award." }, "unique_id": 142 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2012", "display_date": "2013" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2012", "display_date": "2013" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/1/7/csm_duerr-2013-heinz-duerr_a185598195.jpg", "caption": "Heinz Dürr, grandson of the company founder, major shareholder and Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Dürr AG", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/1/7/csm_duerr-2013-heinz-duerr_cbbb3257db.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "The end of an era", "text": "“After 24 annual general meetings and 104 Supervisory Board meetings, I think that it is enough.” With these words, Heinz Dürr resigns as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Dürr AG shortly before his 80th birthday. Heinz Dürr remains a role model for the company staff, thanks to his Swabian down-to-earth attitude. In fact, the Dürr team does not have to do without the great businessman altogether. Heinz Dürr is appointed Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board and remains close to the company and its employees." }, "unique_id": 143 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2013", "display_date": "2014" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2013", "display_date": "2014" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/a/csm_duerr-2014-homag-tischplatte_6e5b896c92.jpg", "caption": "The acquisition of the HOMAG Group adds another pillar to the Dürr Group.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/f/a/csm_duerr-2014-homag-tischplatte_f40de77f64.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "A pillar made of wood", "text": "The takeover of the HOMAG Group is not only the largest, but for outsiders also the most surprising acquisition in the company’s history. Dürr opens up a completely new field of business outside the automotive industry. The HOMAG Group is the number one world market leader in woodworking machinery. Its high-tech solutions are used to produce home and office furniture, kitchens, parquet and laminate flooring, windows, doors, stairs and even components for timber houses." }, "unique_id": 144 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2016", "display_date": "2017" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2016", "display_date": "2017" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/5/5/csm_duerr-2017-digital-at-duerr_6744002cac.jpg", "caption": "For Dürr, digital transformation is an opportunity that the digital@DÜRR strategy aims to use in the best possible way.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/5/5/csm_duerr-2017-digital-at-duerr_4a81dccbcb.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Digital transformation", "text": "Dürr has been driving its digital business for several years now with the digital@DÜRR strategy. After the acquisition of the software company iTAC (2015), the joint venture ADAMOS is founded in 2017 together with DMG MORI, Software AG, ZEISS and ASM. As an alliance of mechanical engineering companies for other mechanical engineers, ADAMOS supports digital transformation and offers an open, manufacturer-neutral IIoT environment, in which digital products can be developed, optimized, distributed and used. Before long, more than 20 mechanical engineers belong to the ADAMOS alliance. Another part of Dürr’s digital strategy is the establishment of the Digital Factory, in which software competencies are bundled across divisions in order to bring smart applications to market quickly and with agility." }, "unique_id": 145 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2017", "display_date": "2018" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2019", "display_date": "2020" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/f/csm_duerr-2018-megtec_8dcdb25ddc.jpg", "caption": "The takeover of Megtec/Universal creates the worldwide leading supplier of environmental technology systems for industrial exhaust-air purification.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/b/f/csm_duerr-2018-megtec_287985f845.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Expansion of top position", "text": "With the acquisition of the US company Megtec/Universal, the Dürr Group doubles its environmental technology business, thus becoming the clear world market leader. The Danish mechanical engineering company System TM joins the HOMAG Group, complementing the portfolio for the construction of sustainable timber houses. Another transaction takes place on the doorstep of Dürr’s headquarters in Bietigheim: The Group acquires a stake in the renowned automation specialist Teamtechnik of Freiberg at the end of 2020. " }, "unique_id": 146 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2018", "display_date": "2019" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2018", "display_date": "2019" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/a/4/csm_duerr-2019-sustainability-logo_0edf2ee8ee.jpg", "caption": "The five fields of action in the area of sustainability are reflected in the Group’s sustainability logo.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/a/4/csm_duerr-2019-sustainability-logo_ef10ba5ad6.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Operating sustainably", "text": "In June 2019, Dürr AG is the first company worldwide to issue a sustainability Schuldschein loan, the interest on which is linked to the Group’s sustainability rating. Depending on how certain sustainability criteria develop, the interest rate drops or rises. The rating takes into account, for example, environmental indicators such as CO2 emissions and water consumption as well as fair working relationships and conditions at suppliers. By the end of 2020, two further sustainability Schuldschein loans and a syndicated loan are issued according to the same model. Sustainability is also a central element of the Group strategy and an important guiding principle for the further development of the company, for example in product innovations and acquisitions. In total, Dürr has defined five fields of action in the area of sustainability: Products & Services, Value Creation & Supply Chain, Employees & Qualification, Management & Governance, Engagement & Society." }, "unique_id": 147 }, { "start_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2020", "display_date": "2021" }, "end_date": { "month": "12", "day": "31", "year": "2020", "display_date": "2021" }, "media": { "url": "/fileadmin/_processed_/a/0/csm_duerr-2021-paintshop_b459234db2.jpg", "caption": "Flexible and scalable: the “Paintshop of the Future”.", "alt": null, "title": null, "thumbnail": "/fileadmin/_processed_/a/0/csm_duerr-2021-paintshop_a5ee174d98.jpg" }, "text": { "headline": "Well-equipped for the future", "text": "While we are looking at the history of the last 125 years in the anniversary year of 2021, the Dürr Group is, without a doubt, primarily focused on the future. The company is well equipped for challenges such as the disruptive changes in the automotive industry. Dürr benefits from the rising demand for production technology for electric cars, and start-ups from the e-mobility sector are becoming new customers. Equipment for the production of batteries is also part of the portfolio. Dürr is the first plant manufacturer to present a paint shop in which flexibly controllable painting boxes replace conventional painting lines – the “Paintshop of the Future”. And of course, artificial intelligence has also been welcomed by the group’s software developers. It is incorporated, for example, in the DXQplant.analytics smart application, which can be used to identify even the smallest defects in the painting process." }, "unique_id": 148 } ] }

Learn more!

In our → Dürr & More online magazine we provide further interesting and varied insights into our 125-year history.

Dürr Throwback Thursday