1958 to 1960: How it all began

Goggos
and forks

The rise to a global company began at the time of the "German economic miracle," with a couple of electrical cables for a sub-compact car. On May 9, 1958, a letter from Dingolfing was received in Geisenhausen. It was sent by Hans Glas GmbH and was addressed to Fritz Dräxlmaier Sr.

This letter would decisively impact the history of DRÄXLMAIER because it contained the first order for more than 50,000 wiring harnesses for the new Goggomobil.

Hans Glas requested 50,000 cable sets for the three different variants, T600, Coupe and the Goggomobil limousine, in the letter. 

With a great deal of entrepreneurial courage and vision, Lisa and Fritz Dräxlmaier Sr. founded their new company, ELDRA, in order to fulfill this order. Time was pressing, since 100 cable sets per day had to be delivered, starting June 15, 1958.

With just five weeks to get ready, the lead time was anything but fun. The new company had neither a production site nor any employees, only a contract that obligated it to deliver. However, entrepreneurial experience helped.

From the cutlery drawer

A team was quickly assembled, and production began shortly thereafter in the so-called Schöxkeller in Vilsbiburg. Lisa and Fritz Dräxlmaier Sr. built a network of female home-based workers in order to combat the lack of available workforce.

Lisa Dräxlmaier thought about how the work could be simplified. She took dinner forks out of her kitchen drawer and mounted them on a board that had the assembly plan for the wiring harness glued onto it.

At each junction there was a fork into which the cable could be placed. This way, there was no slipping and since the cables were suspended above the board they could be easily wrapped with tape. Today, these forks are made from nylon, are finely adjustable, have assignment indicators and cable clamps – but they are all descended from the forks in Lisa Dräxlmaier's kitchen silverware drawer.

Cable production had barely begun when the Dräxlmaiers expanded their product portfolio. In addition to the wiring harness, they also produced the door panel for the Goggomobil. This was the first step in the direction of interior production.

1960 to 1969: New products

From wiring harness to instrument panel