History of Eberspächer

From garden watering cans to remote-controlled, programmable independent heaters, from roof gutters to sophisticated exhaust systems of modern cars - that´s more than 140-year history of the company Eberspächer which employs over 5000 employees and is still owned by direct descendants of the company´s founder.

The founder

Jakob Eberspächer (1840 - 1899) started in Esslingen as a tinsmith in 1865. First he started producing watering cans and roof gutters. The production of steel constructions for factory rooflights meant a radical turn.

Jakob Eberspächer family in 1882.

Second generation

From 1906 the company was managed by Adolf and Paul Eberspächer, a new production hall was built of 1000 m², where 80 workers and three designers were employed.

Adolf Eberspächer (in the middle) with workers from his workshop in 1899.

The company´s growth

In 1914 the number of employees increased to 250, the brothers bought the competition company WEMA including their patent for the production of steel profiles. Thanks to railway station roofing jobs in a number of European cities the company further expanded.

Shortly before World War I the company moved to new premises, where one of its plants has been operating up to now.

New tasks, new technologies

After World War I the demand for roofing constructions kept growing. The company came up with a new anti-corrosion protection of its constructions.

Looking into the plumbing workshop of 1920.

A radical turn

In 1931 Eberspächer received an order from Daimler-Benz car works for exhaust silencers. A small job finally resulted in a big deal. In 1935 Eberspächer already supplied their exhausts to almost all German car manufacturers.

A great order from Italy: roofing of Milan railway station, 1929.

Third generation

The third generation of Eberspächers took charge of the company´s management in the late 1930s. During the war the family enterprise further expanded and thanks to military orders it employed 2000 employees in 1944.

Eberspächer production line in the early 1930s.

Split of the company

In the 1950s and 1960s the company focused on two areas, one being construction, related to the construction of roofs (Hochbau) and the other production of devices (Geräte). This was to say the production of exhaust silencers, superchargers for internal combustion engines and independent heaters.

The Oberesslingen plant produced independent heaters, superchargers and grates. The picture comes from the mid-1960s.

Car heaters

The VW Beatle marked a turn in the company´s development. However successful and popular these cars were, even their greatest admirer had to admit one thing. In winter, it was very cold inside, the air-cooled engine was hardly enough to moderately heat the interior. Thanks to Eberspächer, the Beatle became a comfortable vehicle even in frosty weather. The line of independent heaters started growing.

Independent petrol-burning Eberspächer heater in the VW Transporter from the mid-1960s.

Superchargers, exhausts

Eberspächer has been among the first ones involved in the exhaust-gas supercharging.

An Eberspächer supercharger for diesel engines on the engine stand.

Serial production of independent heaters

In the mid-1960s Eberspächer produced some 600 independent heaters a day in different output classes, from those for small passenger cars to those for buses, both petrol-burning and diesel-burning, hot-water as well as hot-air heaters. The small BN4 heater was comprised of 544 components at the time.

Assembling independent heaters in 1965.

Fourth generation

Eberspächer is remarkable also in the respect that it is still the property of the family. The fourth generation started taking charge in 1965, when the company employed 2800 people.

Hans Eberspächer and Dr. Günter Baumann.

Path towards perfection

Devices of the future come to existence at the research and development centre. In 1975 it was the B1L heater which was the first to not need the approval of certification authorities before installed in the car. Over time remote controlled, programmable heaters, smaller-size heaters, heaters with higher output and lower consumption, electric pre-heaters as well as devices combined with air-conditioning made their appearance in the market.

Successful petrol-burning B1L and diesel-burning D1L types started a new era of Eberspächer independent heaters.

Towards the new century

Eberspächer currently owns 25 companies in 13 countries and employs 5200 people. The company´s turnover in the first year of the third millennium reached EUR 1,644 billion.

In 1988 the construction was started of a research and development centre in Esslingen.