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Welte 100 - A journey through time

The Welte Group - founded in 1921 - celebrates its 100th birthday in 2021. Welte 100 - a time travel through the development of our family of companies, to which we cordially invite you.

 

Travelling years of Augustin Welte

Already at the end of the 19th century, it was tradition and partly also laid down by the craft guilds to go on a journey. Augustin Welte also expanded his knowledge as a journeyman blacksmith in Cologne, Ludwigsburg and finally in Ulm.

The first workshop

It was in April 1921 that the founding stone for the Welte Group was laid. The brothers Alex and Augustin Welte founded a blacksmith's and carriage shop in Ulm's Deutschhausgasse.

Forge hammer from Augustin Welte

Despite rising unemployment, Augustin and Therese Welte had managed to keep the still young company stable. The first forge hammer was developed and manufactured by Augustin Welte.

Augustin Welte with his sons


Residence and grocery store of the Welte family

Until 1929, the "Golden 20s" shaped contemporary events. A low unemployment rate of 0.75 million as well as joy of life and confidence were part of this era.

Augustin Welte in his workshop

Until 1929, the development of the blacksmith's shop was positive. The "Golden 20s" were coming to an end. The years after the stock market crash of 1929 - 1933 are characterized by high unemployment and inflation.


Bombing

In 1945 Neu-Ulm was bombed by the Allied air forces. The war hit everyone hard. Augustin and Therese Welte, together with their sons Egon and August, stood before the ruins of their previous work.

Reconstruction

On May 8, 1945, the war was declared over. Now the time of reconstruction began. Egon Welte in particular brought his skills to bear in building up the family business.

Residential and office building with workshop

In 1948, the residential and office building at Ahornstaße 1 in Neu-Ulm, where Welte's headquarters are still located today, was built.


Welte family with employees

The economic development, which entered the history books as the "German Economic Miracle", also helped Welte to succeed. By the end of the 1950s, the number of employees had risen to around 25.

Sales brochures

In order to adapt to the changing market conditions, Welte constantly expanded the product range. Here is a brochure for roller bearing axles.

First series production of training wheels

Welte was already positioning itself as a full-range supplier for vehicle manufacturers at that time and therefore began series production of support wheels for single-axle trailers in the 1960s.


Production department for turned parts

In the turned parts production department, brake drums for the axle program were manufactured in series.

Plant expansion

The diversification and constant expansion of the range of services led to a company expansion in 1965 - Here is a drawing by Egon Welte senior of the company premises in Ahornstraße in Neu-Ulm.

Egon Welte senior with his first guest worker

In 1964, the first Italian employee was hired. At that time, the recruitment of guest workers was the focus of labor market policy.


Egon Welte junior repairing a cardan shaft

Even during his school education, Egon Welte was fully involved in the companies operations.

Alfred Welte during the assembly of hydraulic hoses

Alfred Welte also became involved in the family business early on during his engineering studies.

New construction of the residential and commercial building

As a result of the oil shock, economic growth stagnated in 1974 and the unemployment rate rose to about 4.6% in 1975. The inflation rate also rose to almost 7% in 1973. Despite the unstable times, the building in the Ahornstraße was modernized in 1975. A feat, considering that competitive pressures were steadily increasing due to the economic crisis and market saturation.

Production department for turned parts

To meet the increasing demand for axles, the company invested in a new hall in 1974.

Josefine Welte in sales at the counter

In the mid-1970s, direct business was established via counter sales for regional customers.

 


Market development in France

The Welte brothers were inspired to open up the French market by information from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The first customers were acquired in the Paris area. This was the basis for the acquisition of the Delmotte company in 1992.

Employees at the company Delmotte

Employees in the Delmotte company manufacturing a cardan shaft.


Start of Welte tube bending technology 

The foundation stone for Welte Rohrbiegetechnik was laid in Ahornstraße in 1989.

Production hall hose technology

By the end of the 1980s, the Welte Group had grown dynamically and now had more than 100 employees.

Relocation tube bending technology

In 2000, the premises of today's Rohrbiegetechnik in Lessingstraße in Neu-Ulm were rebuilt.


Egon Welte senior with his wife Josefine

Although their two sons Alfred and Egon Welte have already taken over the management of the company, Josefine and Egon Welte Sr. still take part in the company's activities.

New construction high bay warehouse

In order to cope with the constant increase in new products, a high-bay warehouse was built at the main site in Neu-Ulm in 2008.

High bay warehouse interior view

Over 20,000 cardan shaft spare parts, as well as more than 5,000 different cardan shafts, can now be stocked.

Welte branch in Weyersheim

The branch network in Europe was continuously expanded. In 2003, the company Cardan Service SAS in Weyersheim / France was acquired.

Trainees in the Welte Group

Trainee programs are also a tradition at Welte. Every year, a new phase of life begins for young people.

Employees at the tube bending company

Tube bending technology employees during a company meeting.

 

Welte in the year 2021

Welte currently employs around 400 people across Europe at 14 locations in 5 countries.

On the occasion of its 100th birthday, the Welte Group now also finds itself in a social and macroeconomic situation that is strongly influenced by the worldwide rampant pandemic. Great challenges lie ahead for the next generations. The fact that the Welte-Group today - after 100 years - currently has 400 employees is attributed by the Welte brothers in particular to the fact that the family has always endeavored to learn from history by cultivating experience as knowledge and passing it on from generation to generation.