The year 2021 has a special significance in the history of the Welte Group. When a company manages to overcome for 100 years despite competition and many contemporary events, it is worth mentioning. The Welte Group is celebrating this memorable anniversary as a team and with customers, and introduces itself even better by taking a look at the chronicle of the company. We invite you to take a short trip back in time and then, thanks to you, our customers, continue to successfully write the story for the next 100 years.
From the headquarters in Neu-Ulm, you don't need a large lifting platform, operated with precise Welte cardan shafts, to look up at the highest church tower in the world. And in Ulm, near the Ulm Cathedral in Deutschhausgasse, the success story of "Welte" begins in 1921. It is true that the brothers Alex and Augustin Welte also want to "aim high" one day with their company thanks to craftsmanship. But the two hard-working men could not yet have imagined that the blacksmith's shop would one day become an international company with 400 employees.
The ability to constantly educate themselves and to impart this knowledge to others runs like a thread through the company's history. Even in the early years, the Welte brothers held courses in shoeing. To this day, Welte is aware of its corporate responsibility and offers numerous apprentices a career perspective every year. However, it should still take a little time until the company celebrates its anniversary and becomes the European leader in the fields of cardan shafts, fluid technology and pipe bending technology.
The company's enthusiasm for expansion is already evident in 1925, when August Welte acquires a residential and commercial building in the partner city of Neu-Ulm and opens a repair shop. In the "Golden Twenties", Augustin develops the first blacksmith's hammer and benefits from the positive mood of the time. The first blow of fate affects the whole economy at that time, as the stock market crash is characterized by high unemployment and inflation. Nevertheless, the company manages to stay afloat successfully and even to expand.
When in 1945 the Allied air forces bombard Neu-Ulm, Augustin and Therese Welte with their sons Egon and August find themselves facing the ruins of their previous work. But the brave family does not give up, but gets down to work. The reconstruction succeeds and results in a residential and office building at Ahornstraße 1 in Neu-Ulm. This is still the headquarters of the Welte company today. Fortunately, the war years are soon forgotten and the zest for life returns. While a young man by the name of Elvis Presley is blaring from the radios, around 25 employees at Welte are hard at work on the "German Economic Miracle". A glance at historical sales brochures shows that Welte was always adapting to changing market conditions and aligning its product range accordingly - still part of Welte's recipe for success today.
For the series production of axles for agricultural vehicles and support wheels, the vertical range of manufacture was expanded. In order to cope with the diversification and constant expansion of the product range to include cardan shafts, hose technology and hydraulics, it was necessary to expand the plant. Also, the world is now a guest of friends - as Welte hires its first guest workers - who enjoy the team feeling. This also includes flat hierarchies and collegial interaction.
Egon Welte junior and Alfred Welte, for example, are already fully integrated into the company during their training and studies and gratefully embrace the "Welte DNA". In order to meet the increasing demand for cardan shafts, the company invests in a new hall in the mid-1970s. In addition, Welte proves to be very close to its customers, as demonstrated by the integrated sales counter. A glance at the chronicle shows that in the years that followed, expansion across Europe was on the cards.
To this day, it is clear that the "Grande Nation" and Welte can work well together. The company "Delmotte & Fils" is acquired and later becomes Welte Cardan-Service Strasbourg S.A.S.. Two further French subsidiaries in Weyersheim and Venissieux underpin German-French relations. Furthermore, the Welte Group considers itself well positioned internationally with subsidiaries in Austria, Poland and Italy. Including the German sites, the Welte network comprises 14 locations in 5 countries and employs around 400 people.
With Alfred and Egon Welte already in the 3rd generation, the WELTE Group sees itself well positioned for the future. The team is strengthened by Björn Keller, who has been appointed as an additional managing director for Welte Rohrbiegetechnik GmbH since 01.01.2021, as well as long-time employee, Ulf Kück, who has been appointed as an additional managing director for Welte Cardan-Service GmbH since 01.07.2021.
WELTE is also aware of its corporate responsibility and is pleased that as of September 1, no less than 14 trainees see a successful perspective for their professional future here. The range of training programs at WELTE is just as exciting and varied as the variety of products. It ranges from industrial clerk to wholesale and foreign trade clerk to digitalization management clerk. Technically and craft-oriented professions are represented by metal technology specialists, precision mechanics and technical product designers.
Neither wars, currency reforms, periods of recession nor a virus could slow us down. We invite our customers, suppliers, partners, employees and trainees to continue to accompany us innovatively throughout the next 100 years. The Welte Group - there is always a solution!