The historical roots of the bilstein group go back more than 175 years. Find out how a small hammer mill became a globally successful group of companies. At that time, the merchant Ferdinand Bilstein laid the foundation stone for a company that today operates on a global scale
Foundation of the company "Ferdinand Bilstein"
1844 to 1880
Europe-wide trade with manufactured goods made of steel, iron and brass. The steel forge primarily produces tools and equipment for the iron industry, including drills, files, chains and hinges.
Foundation of the company "Ferdinand Bilstein junior". With the decision to implement in-house production, a strategic realignment of the company takes place. The expansion of the factory goes hand in hand with the purchase of the first steam engine.
The core competence during this time is the production of turned nuts and bolts.
Purchase of the first automatic screw machines, which considerably accelerates the production process.
With the rise of the automotive industry, the strategic reorientation towards the supplier business takes place. The patented "febi spring bolt", which will be presented at the German motor show in Berlin, serves as a reference product.
Registration of the trademark "Febi" (today "febi) at the Reichspatentamt.
The production focus changes towards automotive spare parts and spring bolts. In addition, the first repair kits for kingpins are developed and sold.
The company is classified as "war-important" due to the production of high-quality precision parts. Production has to be restructured according to National Socialist specifications.
Shortly after the end of the war, the Allies granted a "permit to reopen", and the reconstruction of the largely destroyed production begins.
In addition to the production of precision parts for automobiles and motorcycles, the production range of supplier parts for car and truck manufacturers, including spring bolt sets, axle bolts and wheel bolts, is expanded.
The establishment of our own training workshop allows the targeted training of required specialists. These are becoming increasingly rare in times of huge economic growth and development. By the end of the 1950s, the febi brand had established itself as an original equipment manufacturer.
Foundation of "Süd-West-Autoteile GmbH" in Dietzenbach and introduction of the "SWAG" product brand. In 2000, Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG took over this company.
Constant enrichment of the product range with wear parts from partner manufacturers. Start of internationalisation: The first foreign subsidiary, "febi UK Ltd", is founded in England in 1990. Another 20 will follow by 2017.
"febi Präzisionstechnik" enters CNC technology. By using modern control technology, even workpieces with complex shapes can be produced automatically. In addition, a separate programming department is set up and computer-aided quality assurance is introduced.
Foundation of the company "Automotive Distributors Ltd" in England. The "Blue Print" product brand is launched in 1994. The company will be taken over by Ferdinand Bilstein GmbH + Co. KG in 2011.
febi Präzisionstechnik is a supplier for the automotive industry and its own spare parts segment. In addition, precision parts are manufactured for selected industrial customers. Continuous expansion of production capacities and manufacturing competencies. These include turning, milling, drilling, hardening, grinding and assembly. Introduction of the current febi logo.
Introduction of the "bilstein group" umbrella brand as a unifying element for the febi, SWAG and Blue Print product brands.
febi Präzisionstechnik becomes "bilstein group Engineering". With the introduction of the divisional brand, the production activities within the bilstein group are grouped together. The newly built production hall with a production area of 10,000 m2 is opened.
Introduction of the bilstein group partsfinder, initially with the passenger car ranges of febi, SWAG and Blue Print.
Ferdinand Bilstein celebrates its 175th anniversary. The company was founded in 1844.
Start of construction works for the second major logistic centre in Germany.
Start of construction works for the new headquarters in Ennepetal, Germany.
After only two years of construction, the new logistics centre in Gelsenkirchen is officially inaugurated.
Change is Our Tradition
In 2019, the bilstein group could look back on 175 years of company history. The video takes you on a journey through the history of the replacement parts specialist and shows how the bilstein group has reinvented itself time and again and opened up new markets. Take a look!
Rooted in Ennepetal – On Site Worldwide
Home – for us, that is where we grew up. Ferdinand Bilstein (the company behind the umbrella brand bilstein group) has been domiciled in Ennepetal, Germany since 1844. Our headquarters is a symbol of our regional heritage and the beating heart of the company.
The original building, where the story of Ferdinand Bilstein began 175 years ago, still exists today (although without the factory extension of yesteryear).
Nevertheless, we have been pressing ahead with internationalisation of the company for many decades, so that we can offer our customers the highest degree of market proximity and first-hand services.
Our first subsidiary was founded in Great Britain in 1990. Another 20 have since been added all around the globe. Be it in Ennepetal, Singapore or Moscow: the bilstein group is on your doorstep worldwide.
7th Generation of Family Management – With Dual Leadership
Despite the bilstein group’s rapid growth, we have remained faithful to our origins: The business is still family-owned today. Meanwhile, the seventh proprietor generation has taken responsibility for the economic success of the corporate group.
Company founded by Ferdinand Daniel Bilstein (1813-1890)
Following the death of Ferdinand Daniel Bilstein (1890), his son Robert Ferdinand also dies one year later. The son's widow, Marie Bilstein (1848 – 1924), takes over the running of the business.
Hans Carl Ferdinand Bilstein (1878-1947), the oldest son of Marie Bilstein, joins the company
Paul Julius Bilstein (1886-1950) enters company management
Ferdinand Hermann Bilstein (1913-1967) comes on board
Ferdinand Hermann Bilstein is joined by brother-in-law Arnold Siekermann (1917-1987) in running the company
Rolf Bilstein (born 1943) comes on board
Dieter Siekermann (born 1945) joins the management team
Karsten Schüssler-Bilstein (born 1971) becomes a Group Managing Director
Jan Siekermann (born 1979) completes the dual leadership of the company.
Together We Are Strong
All business activities within the bilstein group are based on clearly formulated guidelines. This plants "we" as the focus point, and creates the basis for a family environment and exceptional working conditions.
Our most important goal is customer satisfaction: because customer success is also the success of the bilstein group. Partnerships designed for long-term cooperation are based on mutual benefit and are characterised by open, respectful business relationships and reliable services.
Part of our responsibility also covers nature. The bilstein group strives to conserve and preserve the environment as far as possible through the economical use of resources and modern production processes.
Think Globally, Act Regionally
The bilstein group's regional roots are an integral part of its corporate orientation.
We make our contributions by fulfilling public requirements and are committed to social projects and training initiatives.
Since the company was founded in 1844, we have remained loyal to our main location in Ennepetal. A considerable part of the investment volume is allocated to the expansion and conversion of the headquarters.
In this way, we are not only shaping our own future, but are also returning part of our ongoing success back to society and to the region.
The bilstein group attaches particular importance to sustainability. We take various measures to conserve resources, save energy and pollute the environment as little as possible.
Through the system partnership with PARTSLIFE, the environmental management service provider for the automotive industry, the bilstein group makes an active contribution to waste avoidance and disposal.
We design new buildings on the basis of current energy guidelines. The production site in Ennepetal, which was built in 2017, was equipped with a photovoltaic system which cover 50% of our current electricity requirements.
We also avoid producing the greenhouse gas CO2, which is produced during conventional electricity production, and use a natural, inexhaustible energy source. A direct contribution to the protection of our environment.
bilstein group is a global company and accessible worldwide.
The bilstein group is a family-run group of companies in its seventh generation, with headquarters in the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia. The internationally renowned product brands febi, SWAG and Blue Print are united under its strong umbrella.
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