In 2021, the Schwarzmüller Group is looking back at 150 years of a diverse and internationally successful company history. The industrial firm was founded as a blacksmith's shop in Passau in 1871, relocated to Austria in the commotion of the global economic crisis and has concentrated on vehicle construction since the 1930s. Today, it operates in 21 European countries and offers the widest portfolio of trailers and HGV bodies in Europe. “The company’s successful history is an obligation to improve our market position further. The potential is there,” said CEO Roland Hartwig today, Wednesday, 27 January 2021, at the company’s Hanzing headquarters in Freinberg, near Schärding.
At the end of 1871, Josef Schwarzmüller in Passau announced that he had founded a blacksmith's shop in Passau city centre, at Schmiedgasse 12. This notification from December of the same year is considered the founding document of the company, which today is one of the leading European manufacturers of trailers and body building vehicles. It has become known thanks to the historical research of Dr Herbert Wurster, the former head of the archive of the diocese of Passau. He reconstructed the history from the documents for the anniversary and corrected the year of foundation from 1870 to 1871. “The history of our company is the first major project in the anniversary year. A company with tradition must know where it comes from in order to decide where it will go,” emphasised CEO Hartwig. At any rate, five generations of the owning Schwarzmüller family have hit the mark with their consistent hard work and have developed a leading company in Europe in its sector.
Vehicle construction was focused on at an early stage
A wagon-making business was quickly added to the blacksmith’s shop as well in the 19th century. This resulted in vehicle construction, still a young trade at the time, and one that Schwarzmüller registered in the 1930s. In the commotion of the global economic crisis, the growing company relocated to nearby Freinberg in Austria and set up the plant that remains the company headquarters to this day, in the Hanzing area, in 1936. Things had not always gone to plan: The Greater German Reich had envisaged a motorway in the area and the company wanted to make use of this modern infrastructure. The motorway did not come, but the plant is still there today. 750 employees work here, more than half in production. Thus, Schwarzmüller is one of the largest employers in the Innviertel region.
Targeted expansion towards the east
In the time of the economic miracle, the company began to establish a network of branches in Austria and in the 1990s it achieved market leadership in the home market. At approximately the same time, it decided to pursue rigorous expansion into the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Plants were established in Hungary and the Czech Republic, while there has been a fourth plant in Germany since 2020. Currently, Schwarzmüller is the market leader in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, the Czech Republic as well as in Slovakia. More than 2,000 people are working on ensuring that 150 different vehicle types are successfully sold in 21 countries. Approximately 10,000 units are sold each year.
Premium provider with added value guarantee
This market position has been achieved even though the company actually does not maximise its sales figures with standard products, but focuses on the higher efficiency of its vehicles. Schwarzmüller trailers are premium products for transport companies that want to achieve more value creation. “We are able to adapt our products to any mode of application. This is how they create added value,” explains Hartwig. Schwarzmüller offers 50 different tipper vehicle variants alone. In addition to tipper vehicles, the company also builds low-bed vehicles, walking-floor and tank vehicles as well as vehicles for wood and container transport, but also trailers for long haul forwarding.
“In the anniversary year, we feel ideally positioned to become even stronger in Europe,” says Hartwig confidently. Schwarzmüller can rely on its expertise in construction and metal processing as well as its dynamic organisation, he said. A completely new flow production set up from scratch has helped to ensure that in the anniversary year, with the best vehicle portfolio in the company’s history, it will celebrate further successes, says Hartwig with confidence.
Please note: Under the image material a PDF of the company history “Voll ins Schwarze.” (Hitting the mark.) is available, which has just been published.
Copyright notice: Schwarzmüller Group, free reproduction if used in context with this press release.
Mag. Michael Prock, Prock und Prock Marktkommunikation GmbH, Press Officer
Lasserstraße 13/1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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The Schwarzmüller group is one of the largest European suppliers for drawn commercial vehicles. The company sets the benchmark for the industry with its premium direction and is a specialist in individual transport solutions in demanding industries, with 150 years of experience. With vehicles from the Schwarzmüller and Hüffermann brands, the company supplies the construction trade, infrastructure companies, raw materials and recyclable materials industry, and long haul transport companies.