History

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

1844
1880
1880
1897
1921
1923
1936
1939
1946
1951
1952
1954
1981
1983
1988
1994
2012
2017
2017
2019
2019
2021
2021

1844

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.

 

1880

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.

1897

Purchase of the first automatic screw machines, which considerably accelerates the production process.

1921

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.

 

1923

Registration of the trademark "Febi" (today "febi) at the Reichspatentamt.

 

1936

The production focus changes towards automotive spare parts and spring bolts. In addition, the first repair kits for kingpins are developed and sold.

 

1939

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.

 

1946

Shortly after the end of the war, the Allies granted a "permit to reopen", and the reconstruction of the largely destroyed production begins.

 

1951

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.

 

1952

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.

 

1954

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.

 

1981

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.

 

1983

"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.

 

1988

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.

 

1994

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.

 

2012

Introduction of the "bilstein group" umbrella brand as a unifying element for the febi, SWAG and Blue Print product brands.
 

2017

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.
 

2017

Introduction of the bilstein group partsfinder, initially with the passenger car ranges of febi, SWAG and Blue Print.
 

2019

Ferdinand Bilstein celebrates its 175th anniversary. The company was founded in 1844.

2019

Start of construction works for the second major logistic centre in Germany.
 

2021

Start of construction works for the new headquarters in Ennepetal, Germany.
 

2021

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!