The atmospheric gas-powered engine, the four-stroke engine and the low-voltage magneto ignition – technical innovations that have revolutionised drive technology. And all these future-oriented technologies were developed by one company: DEUTZ AG in Cologne.
The invention of the four-stroke engine launched the motorisation of the world, changing people’s lives forever. DEUTZ is still an independent manufacturer of efficient and durable engine technology and is known for its high-quality products. It has been guided by A tradition of achievement for 150 years.
Now, in 2014, DEUTZ can look back proudly over its 150-year history and the technical revolutions, innovative developments and influential figures that have made it the com- pany it is today. Nicolaus August Otto, Eugen Langen, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach and Ettore Bugatti – these are just a few of the names that have played an important part in the companys history.
The story of modern-day DEUTZ begins on 31 March 1864 with the founding of N.A. Otto & Cie. in Cologne. In an age when people were becoming passionate about technology and transport, Cologne-based businessman Nicolaus August Otto and engineer Eugen Langen joined forces to bring to life their vision of a machine that would power vehicles and be used in industry. The two visionaries set up the world’s first ever engine factory in Colognes Servasgasse, a street close to the main train station. When Otto and Langen founded N.A. Otto & Cie., thereby laying the foundation stone for the current DEUTZ AG, they could not have imagined that they would set in train a process of motorising the whole world from their base in Cologne.
The motorisation of the world began in Cologne
The engine factorys early years were turbulent as the company rapidly developed into an organisation that would go on to motorise the world. In 1897, Gasmotoren-Fabrik Deutz was manufacturing stationary diesel engines and it was not long before the world’s first pit locomotive came along. In 1907 the company began mass-producing diesel engines and soon after that began trialling the mass production of automobiles. The most famous of these was undoubtedly the 1909 model designed by Ettore Bugatti.
1926 saw production of the first diesel tractor, and for a long time agricultural machinery was one of the most important pillars of the companys business. During the Weimar Republic era DEUTZ supervisory board member Peter Klo?ckner oversaw the merger of Gasmotoren-Fabrik Deutz with Motorenfabrik Oberursel AG and Humboldt AG.
Changes in the 1930s
From the mid-1930s there were radical changes at Humboldt-Deutzmotoren AG, as engine production gradually shifted away from stationary applications towards mobile use in vehicles. In 1936 the company took over the Ulm-based truck manufacturer C. D. Magirus, which built buses and special fire service vehicles as well as trucks. In the decades that followed, Magirus-Deutz became a well-known brand for commercial vehicles.
At the end of the 1930s the Klo?ckner group merged with Humboldt-Deutzmotoren to form a new company: Klo?ckner-Humboldt-Deutz AG (KHD). KHD continued until the 1990s and over the decades built a total of more than four million air-cooled diesel engines, supplied 10,000 trucks to the former Soviet Union for the construction of the Baikal-Amur railway through Siberia and was involved in the development of the orbiter transporter for NASA. The oil/air-cooled 1011 series engine became one of the biggest-selling industrial engines of its class.
In 1985 KHD took over Motorenwerke Mannheim AG (MWM) and concentrated the me- dium-sized and large engines business at the Mannheim plant under the DEUTZ MWM brand.
In 1991 in Cologne-Porz, the go-ahead was given for the biggest single investment in DEUTZs illustrious history: 600 million deutschmarks were invested in new engine production facilities at the Porz, Deutz and Kalk sites in Cologne. Just-in-time logistics, a blend of assembly-line and stationary production, and streamlined manufacturing processes made these diesel engine factories in Cologne among the most modern in the world. On 2 June 1993 the new engine factory was officially opened at its location just 20 minutes or so from Servasgasse, where the original company was formed. It was to be a production site for the engines of the future.
Breaking into new markets
In 1997 KHD became DEUTZ AG. As it moved into a new millennium the company turned its attention to the international growth markets, and set up its first joint ventures in China with well-established international partners such as WEICHAI Holding, the Chinese com- pany with which DEUTZ established a joint venture in Weifang in 1998.
In 2007 DEUTZ teamed up with the biggest Chinese manufacturer of commercial vehicles and diesel engines, First Automotive Works (FAW), to open a diesel engine factory in Dalian. With a workforce of 2,000 people making 100,000 engines a year, this is now the companys second biggest production site after Cologne. Since the factory opened, the Chinese market has been supplied by local plants. These collaborations increase DEUTZs global reach and, following a period of comprehensive restructuring, the company is well equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Since 1998 DEUTZ has worked in alliance with the Swedish truck and construction equipment manufacturer AB Volvo, which is also its biggest customer and development partner. In September 2012 Volvo increased its shareholding in DEUTZ to just over 25 per cent. In 2013, DEUTZ and AB Volvo founded a Chinese production company for medium-duty engines, in which DEUTZ has a majority holding. Manufacturing is scheduled to begin in late 2015. The aim is to satisfy the demand from the AB Volvo Group and other customers in Asia for construction machinery engines.
In 2014 DEUTZ celebrates its 150th anniversary
From the legendary air-cooled diesel engine and drive systems for tractors and ships to natural fuel engines and innovative hybrid systems: over the course of its long history DEUTZ has always been a pioneer. On land, on water and in the air – internal combus- tion engines are now used in countless applications and it’s hard to imagine modern life without them.
150 years after it was founded, DEUTZ is known around the world as an independent manufacturer of diesel engines. From the very beginning, the name DEUTZ has stood for cutting-edge technology and high-quality products. Today, the company employs around 4,000 people and has a presence in over 130 countries.
With its solid foundations, strong presence in Asias growth markets and a product range that focuses on clean and efficient engines and is very popular with customers, the company is well equipped to face the future.
DEUTZ has experienced many highs and lows over the past 150 years. "We have been through two world wars, and as a technology-driven company having to operate in an everchanging market, it hasnt always been easy for us," says Dr Helmut Leube, chairman of the DEUTZ Board of Management. "However, our dedication and the performance of our engines have always won through in the end, and it is because of this that we are now able to look back with pride on a 150-year story of success."