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20 December, 2021

The global supplier for the automotive and industrial sectors, Schaeffler, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Brothers Dr. Wilhelm and Dr.-Ing. E.h. Georg Schaeffler laid the foundations of the Group in 1946 with the incorporation of Industrie GmbH in Herzogenaurach. These were the beginnings of a company that today has over 83,900 employees in close to 200 locations across 50 countries. Among others, three successful independent companies —INA, LuK and FAG— joined forces to create a global technological leader with the DNA of a family business. And so, today, Schaeffler is celebrating 75 years of progress, technological innovation and economic success with an online anniversary ceremony for all the staff and a number of guests from the economic and political fields.

Pioneering spirit, innovations and strategic acquisitions are the foundation of success

The rapid growth of the company from 1950 onward was possible thanks to the cage-guided needle roller bearing, a amazing invention by Dr.-Ing. E.h. Georg Schaeffler, which revolutionised mobility, both in automotive construction and in the industrial sector.

This invention set the groundwork for ongoing global success. In 1965, the two brothers decided to invest in LuK Lamellen und Kupplungsbau GmbH, based in Bühl, in the German region of Baden, where the Automotive Technologies division is now headquartered. The diaphragm spring clutch, the dual mass flywheel and the engine elements are examples of innovative products that have placed the company at the forefront of technology. Since 1999, LuK has been wholly owned by Schaeffler.

In 2001, Schaeffler acquired FAG Kugelfischer Georg Schäfer AG, located in Schweinfurt. Thanks to this acquisition, Schaeffler became the world's second largest bearings manufacturer. In 2015, Schaeffler AG was floated on the stock exchange to great success. Currently, the three product brands INA, LuK and FAG are joined under the strong corporate brand of Schaeffler.

“Our pioneering spirit has always been key to the success of Schaeffler as a company. And at daunting times, when there were great challenges, the company has shown great resilience and a willingness to always approach profound change as an opportunity. As shareholders, we are particularly mindful that this decades-long success is attributable, above all, to the commitment of our employees all around the world, as well as our customers and suppliers”, stated Georg F. W. Schaeffler, family shareholder and Chair of the Supervisory Board of Schaeffler AG.

Transparent scientific study of the company's history

To mark the company's anniversary, the Schaeffler family has commissioned a systematic research project into its history, which is inextricably linked to that of the company. This project has been entrusted to the prestigious historian, Prof. Dr. Gregor Schöllgen. Schaeffler will present the results of this research —which also includes the years prior to the company's foundation in 1946— within the framework of celebrating the anniversary, with the launch of a newly designed website that will allow the viewer to experience the history as well as learning about the people and technological innovations behind it. Link: The presentation and thorough analysis entitled "Schaeffler. Biography of a family and its business" by Prof. Dr. Schöllgen will be released at the beginning of December by publishing house Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt of Munich.

"Schaeffler has long been characterised by its extraordinary innovative capacity and its high level of social responsibility”, said Prof. Dr. Schöllgen. “The curiosity and forward thinking that motivated the two brothers are, to this day, the great strength of this tradition-defending family business.”

Creation of the Schaeffler Foundation

To mark the 75th anniversary of Schaeffler, Schaeffler AG and IHO Holding are creating the Schaeffler Foundation to underline the social responsibility of the Schaeffler Group and its family shareholders. Schaeffler AG and IHO Holding will provide initial funding of 3 million euros each to establish the Foundation. The establishment fund will be increased each year with additional contributions. At the same time, the existing activities will be incorporated, such as the Schaeffler FAG Foundation. The foundation will develop its activities all over the world and will focus on three main areas: 1) Climate and Environmental Protection, 2) Research and Science, and 3) Training, Qualifications and Equal Opportunities.

With its 2025 Roadmap, the Schaeffler Group has clearly positioned itself in terms of future strategy. As part of this strategy, through its three divisions, the company is systematically committing to transformation in ten client sectors, in order to continue to be the preferred technological partner of its customers into the future. Sustainability and digitalisation are at the core of the strategy, alongside five focus areas relating to subjects such as CO2 efficiency and renewable energy.

"As long as there's movement, there will be Schaeffler. At Schaeffler, innovation, quality, an understanding of the system and excellence in manufacturing combine to form a shared strength. With this strength and our family business DNA, we are perfectly ready to take on the future”, said Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG.




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