History of Eberspächer in the Czech Lands

The company Eberspächer had connections with the Pilsen-based Škoda already before World War I, in the late 1920s its daughter company WEMA operated in Prague. The first references to cooperation with Czech car factories come from 1942, Eberspächer independent heaters were fitted to first Tatra 603 cars, and even at the time of hard socialism a production cooperation appeared between Autobrzdy and Eberspächer, which was an absolutely unique relationship at the time. Today, Eberspächer has its second largest foreign factory in Rakovník.

WEMA - the 1930s

The building of WEMA, Eberspächer daughter company, was built at the beginning of the 1930s in Prague. It still exists, with its original roofing and rooflights.

Refurbished WEMA buildings still exist in Prague. The rooflights and supporting roof construction is still the same even after three quarters of a century.

Drawings of the Prague WEMA workshop from 1930.

Drawings of the Prague WEMA workshop from 1930

Praga and Tatra were the first car factories to have experience with Eberspächer heaters.

Refurbished WEMA buildings in Prague.

Tatra 603 - the 1950s

However, besides progressive novelties, the Tatra 603 had a fundamental drawback. It was terrible cold inside. Eberspächer heaters were a remedy. Air-cooled engines from Kopřivnice challenged the domestic industry to develop and produce domestic independent car heaters. Eberspächer served as a pattern to follow in this field.

A picture of the Schneebeli- Chabaud independent heater in Motoristická současnost magazin no. 2/1957.

The Eberspächer heater installed in the Tatra 603 occupied the entire space under the front seat.

A scheme of air delivery to the heater (shaded arrows) and heated air distribution around the cab (black arrows).

The oldest Eberspächer heater in our country.

Are you wondering how have the Eberspächer independent heaters ended up which had once been installed in the Tatra 805 cars of Mr. Hanzelka and Mr.Zikmund? One of them is today the oldest known preserved heater of its kind in our country and serves in the perfectly refurbished Tatra 805 owned by Karel Loprais.

The Tatra 805s of the explorers Hanzelka and Zikmund in Jericho in the picture from 1961. Both trucks were fitted with Eberspächer independent heaters.

PAL heater - the 1960s

The import of petrol-burning independent heaters for buses and Tatra 603s from the then "West" was unacceptable, both from the economical and ideological point of view. Therefore in 1958 the then Autobrzdy Jablonec nad Nisou national enterprise developed a domestic diesel-burning hot-air independent heater called 12 AKN 5 for buses and in 1962 the 3 COB 1 petrol-burning hot-air independent heater for the Tatra 603.

The first domestic independent heater for passenger cars, the 3COB 1 from Autobrzdy Jablonec

Eberspächer license- the 1970s

In 1970 the license for the production of hot-air independent heaters of different outputs was purchased for Autobrzdy Jablonec. Further development resulted in a then-unprecedented production cooperation between the socialistic national enterprise and private company in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Basic invention of dr. Kofinek, registered on March 15, 1965 was successfully patented worldwide, as is documented by the picture from the US patent file no. 3 202 582.

Cooperation - the 1980s

New production equipment purchased for the domestic manufacturer, high quality of produced pumps for independent heaters and specific situation resulted in the Jablonec nad Nisou-based company exporting its pumps to Esslingen. Another company, the then Jiskra Tábor, produced glow plugs for Eberspächer.

The Tatra 700 - until the last breath

The Tatra 700 was perhaps the only passenger car in the world which, although fitted with an air-cooled engine, was equipped with both independent heater and air-conditioning. The hot-air independent heater and modern air-conditioning do not go together due to their control. In the case of the Tatra 700, however, this problem has been successfully solved. Also in this achievement Eberspächer played its role.

The Velvet Revolution - shortly after

Czechia through the sales agency of company Svoboda involved in independent heaters. In November 1992 the division of exhaust systems founded its own company, Eberspächer CS, spol. s r.o. Later, it started the production in Rakovník.

Come-backs - the 1990s

In October 1994 Eberspacher opened its own sales agency for independent heaters in the Czech Republic and started supplying its devices directly to primary car manufacturers, to name Tatra, Karosa, SOR in the first place and others, reaffirming thus its exclusive position in this field.

An aerial photo of the factory in Rakovník where exhausts are produced.

Towards the third millennium

The supply of heater-related devices has been growing larger and larger: petrol-burning or diesel-burning heaters, hot-air or hot-water heaters as well as electric heaters meet all requirements including construction ones. Nowadays, Eberspächer has 50 authorized service centres. The company has built its second biggest foreign factory for the production of exhaust systems in Rakovník where more than 400 people is employed.

The new Airtronic D5 hot-air heater is suitable particularly for small buses.