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In 1958 the DRÄXLMAIER company is launched, using a lot of the experience gained in leather processing: As early as 1875, the Dräxlmaiers operated a company in Geisenhausen, Germany which manufactured lederhosen, ski boots, helmets and motorcycle clothing. The first order for the young DRÄXLMAIER Group: 50,000 cable sets for the Goggomobil subcompact, produced by Hans Glas GmbH in Dingolfing, Germany. Shortly thereafter, the second product branch is set up: DRÄXLMAIER now also delivers the door panels of the small car, which was built until 1969.

The Goggomobil made by Hans Glas GmbH
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1960 DRÄXLMAIER installs the first lines for the high-frequency welding of door panels. At the same time, vacuum molding of thermoplastic films is introduced for producing instrument panels. This lays the groundwork for the eventual extensive process expertise in the interior segment.

Production of door panels
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1966 DRÄXLMAIER wins BMW, which had just taken over the Glas company in Dingolfing, as a customer. This is the first step for our eventual alignment with the premium automobile segment.

Production of wiring harnesses
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Start of construction of the new production and administration building in Brückenstrasse, Vilsbiburg, Germany.

Production and administration building on Brückenstrasse
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1974 DRÄXLMAIER establishes its first foreign production site in the port-city of Sousse, Tunisia, and steady expands its presence in North Africa in the years to come. Just two years later, the company follows its customer Volkswagen to North America and builds production sites there. This lays the foundation for the current worldwide presence and international connectedness of the DRÄXLMAIER Group.

the port-city of Sousse
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1976 DRÄXLMAIER begins producing wiring harnesses and interior components in Canada.

Wiring harness production
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1980 the production sites continue to expand: One company becomes six, and from the original 10 employees there are now 1,300. A new production hall is built for DRÄXLMAIER in Braunau, Austria, and four new foreign companies are founded.

Start of construction of the Braunau plant site
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1987 an automatic high bay and small parts warehouse is set up at the corporate headquarters in Vilsbiburg, Germany. This logistics center, since expanded multiple times, is still the central hub of the worldwide supply chain for the company. It is from here that all material flow and all essential just-in-time and just-in-sequence processes are controlled.

High bay and small parts warehouse
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1990 DRÄXLMAIER brings the customer specific wiring harness (KSK) to the market for the first time. The primary customers for the in-sequence delivery at the time are Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The product revolutionizes the architecture of automotive electrical systems because the new wiring harness contains only those components that are actually used in the car in question. This innovation founds the technological leadership of DRÄXLMAIER in the area of automotive electrical systems.

Production of customer-specific wiring harnesses
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1994 DRÄXLMAIER wins the concept competition for the development, production and delivery of the complete cockpit volume for the Mercedes-Benz CLK, and with that becomes a system supplier for vehicle interiors. From then on, the company takes over the entire responsibility for the development, production, logistics, assembly and quality assurance of the products.

DRÄXLMAIER becomes a systems supplier for vehicle interiors
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1995 DRÄXLMAIER begins development of interior products from natural fibers. The door panels for the Mercedes Benz S-Class Coupé as well as the Audi A2, which come to market in 1999, consist of hemp, flax and sisal.

Interior component made of natural fibers
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1997 DRÄXLMAIER develops a functionally integrated door module. The new door for the BMW 7 Series has the first interior module that integrates all electrical and electronic functions of a door in an overall system. Effective development and logistical processes also convince the customer BMW, so that a short time later they place an order for the functionally integrated center console in the BMW 7 Series.

Functionally integrated center console
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1998 the DRÄXLMAIER Technology Center in Vilsbiburg opens. It meets the requirements for outstanding innovative strength and high development competence in the company, and at the same time offers the opportunity for basic development.

Technology Center in Vilsbiburg
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1999, as its first system supplier, DRÄXLMAIER develops and produces a full-leather interior for the Mercedes-Benz CL Coupé. This is followed just a year later by the total interior for the BMW Z8, and three years later by the one for the Maybach luxury limousine. DRÄXLMAIER develops and delivers the wiring harness systems for all three models as well. The company is establishing itself as a specialist for the premium segment, which units both production technologies under one roof.

Processing of high-quality leather at DRÄXLMAIER
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At the turn of the century, with the first door substrate made out of renewable raw materials, DRÄXLMAIER makes the lightest door in the world for the Audi A2 – even then, ahead of its time and focusing on sustainability.

Audi A2 door substrate made of renewable raw materials
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2003 DRÄXLMAIER opens its first plant in Shenyang in China, where it starts production in the electrical and interior segments at the beginning of 2004.

DRÄXLMAIER plant site in Shenyang
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2005 DRÄXLMAIER establishes itself in the former “silver city” of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. This is first of the current three sites that were established in Mexico during a four-year span. Since 2010, DRÄXLMAIER also operates a plant in Masaya, Nicaragua.

DRÄXLMAIER plant site in San Luis Potosi
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2007 With its production start in the Republic of Moldova, DRÄXLMAIER expands its presence in Eastern Europe beyond Serbia, Poland and Romania.

DRÄXLMAIER plant site in Balti
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2008 DRÄXLMAIER introduces the lightest natural fiber composite material for the automobile interior. The door panel developed for the BMW 7 Series consists of biocomposite material and is the lightest one of its kind at the time. With this weight reduction, DRÄXLMAIER makes a major contribution to decreasing gasoline usage and CO2 output. In the area of electrical systems, the automation of production and development of new architectures are further advanced.

Door panel for the BMW 7 Series
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2009 DRÄXLMAIER receives the order for the high-voltage wiring harness systems in various Mercedes-Benz and Smart models with electrical drive, hybrid technology, plug-in hybrids and future fuel cell drives. This is an initial success in the area of electrical mobility, in which the company participates with innovative developments and products.

Charging station for electric vehicles
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2010 DRÄXLMAIER opens a new plant in Xiaoshi, China.

Xiaoshi plant
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2011 DRÄXLMAIER develops the first door panel in the world with visible natural fibers. With the natural fiber look the company sets new aesthetic standards for the automobile interior.

Natural fiber mats
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2012 the company expands its existing production areas in Shenyang and thereby achieves growth potential on the Chinese market. In Kavadarci in Macedonia, DRÄXLMAIER builds a fully-integrated production plant. In Brasov, Romania, DRÄXLMAIER provides the initiative to begin a dual vocational education program based on the German model.

DRÄXLMAIER trains – also in dual programs
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2013 the door panel with visible natural fibers for the BMW i3, developed in 2011, is produced in series. In Leipzig, DRÄXLMAIER opens another site.

BMW i3 door
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2014 DRÄXLMAIER receives an award for the largest growth among the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide. The professional training program at DRÄXLMAIER celebrates its 40-year anniversary. The DRÄXLMAIER Group has been successfully producing for German premium carmakers in China for 11 years. The automotive supplier establishes a new interior systems site in Langfang, China. Since DRÄXLMAIER places great importance on the training of its employees, young people in China are now being trained according to the same standards as in Germany.

40 years vocational training
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2016 the DRÄXLMAIER Group has reason to celebrate: DRÄXLMAIER has been closely associated with BMW for 50 years, contributes to the Premium brand with its know-how and accompanies vehicle projects from the very first idea right up to series supply. The equipment of the BMW 1600 GT in 1966 was the first order that DRÄXLMAIER received from BMW.

The BMW 1600 GT marked the beginning of the cooperation between DRÄXLMAIER and BMW © Axel Cölln
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2017 the DRÄXLMAIER Group continues to grow, in Mexico at the plant site in Matehuala and in the USA at the Livermore site in California. The company sets up its first highly automated battery production in Sachsenheim near Stuttgart. This plant produces a powerful 800 volt overall battery system for a fully electric sports car. As a partner company, the DRÄXLMAIER Group supports the Bavarian regional competition of Jugend forscht – a competition in which young researchers develop and present scientific projects.

Livermore site in California
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2018 the DRÄXLMAIER Group celebrates its sixtieth company anniversary. The DRÄXLMAIER Campus is being set up in the GALILEO at the Technical University Munich. Together with faculties of the TUM, DRÄXLMAIER developers there are researching future issues in the automobile industry.

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Jürgen Otto takes over the position of CEO of the DRÄXLMAIER Group from Fritz Dräxlmaier. In this position he will manage the Executive Board and will run the operations of the automotive supplier. As a representative of the shareholders, Fritz Dräxlmaier retains his relationship with the company and continues to execute his function as Chairman of the Board. This change in management is an important strategic step for a sustainably successful management organization.

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