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Chronicle Dürkopp and Adler

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Bielefeld in the middle of the 19th century: the industrial revolution has turned the city into a major textiles location. Imported sewing machines, mainly from the USA, are used to further process the materials. They are expensive to buy and hard to service. The two mechanics, Baer and Koch, recognise the opportunity and start the first sewing machine factory in Bielefeld.

The success of the venture indicates to the partners the potential of the new market, and in 1865 Baer decides to start his own operation. Koch continues trading under the name of Koch & Co and now employs the two sewing machine mechanics Dürkopp and Schmidt. Dürkopp had already designed his first sewing machine in 1861, and in 1867 together with Schmidt he started his own company known as Dürkopp & Schmidt.

In 20 years Bielefeld develops to become one of the most important centres of the sewing machine industry in Germany. In 1880 there are 19 Bielefeld companies operating in the sector. Their products enjoy international recognition and are sold all over Europe.

The sector undergoes a crisis in the 80s as a result of growing national and international competition. Dürkopp & Co, as the company is called after Schmidt's departure, is the first enterprise to start seeking new markets for the manufacture of bicycles. The new product sells very well and the company continues on its successful path. As do other companies, Koch & Co follows Dürkopp's example, and bicycle manufacture soon becomes an important factor in the town's economy.

Inspired by his success, Dürkopp starts with the manufacture of cars, trucks and other forms of motorised transport at around the end of the century. While Dürkopp is constantly busy trying to find new fields of business for his company, Koch & Co concentrates on industrial sewing and clothing equipment. Its brand name Adler becomes synonymous for special sewing machines of international demand. Kochs Adler Nähmaschinenwerke AG, as the company is now called, therefore discontinues bicycle production in 1920

At the end of the 1920s the world economic crisis forces Dürkoppwerke AG - the name of the company after the death of its founding father - to give up car production, which in any case had not been a great success. At the end of the Weimar Republic after development of the first conveyor system for the textiles industry, a new sales market is found in which the enterprise is still active today.

After the Second World War, Kochs Adler Nähmaschinenwerke also attempts to penetrate new fields of business with the manufacture of typewriters and packing machinery. But in the medium-term, both divisions are dropped, and so is the production of household sewing machines. From the start of the sixties onwards, Dürkoppwerke AG also restricts itself to the production of industrial sewing machines and conveyor systems.

In 1962 a majority of shares in Dürkoppwerke AG is acquired by FAG Kugelfischer. When the Kugelfischer group takes over the majority of shares in Kochs Adler AG 25 years later the path is levelled for a merger of the two competing factories. From 1990 onwards they operate in the new complex in Bielefeld -Oldentrup under the name of Dürkopp Adler AG.

With effect from July 1, 2005, the Chinese SGSB Group Co., Ltd., Shanghai (SGSB Group) took over the majority shareholding in Dürkopp Adler AG from FAG Kugelfischer GmbH, Schweinfurt.

The Zoje Europe GmbH, subsidiary of the chinese Zoje Sewing Machine Co. Ltd., took over 29% of the shareholding of the Dürkopp Adler AG with the effect from October 28, 2012.

Today, Dürkopp Adler AG offers solutions in the field of sewing technology. The group operates with a worldwide service and distribution network of 11 subsidiaries, 2 Joint Ventures and more than 80 authorised dealers. The objective of the company is to perfect the automation of production procedures, guaranteeing at the same time a maximum degree of flexible applications.

Complete consultation and reliable service round off a product pallet that takes a top place in major segments of the world market. The pioneering spirit and creative drive of the founding fathers is an integral part of a company philosophy, and will be further used by the creative potential of the staff.

 

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