Edscha has been taking care of mobility for 150 years, first in the range of front and room doors, then in the range of carriages and other vehicles, and for more than 100 years also in the range of automobiles.
Company founder Eduard Scharwächter
In 1870 the German economy is experiencing an economic upswing, the so-called Wilhelminian era will later go down in the history books, in the Bergish town of Remscheid the skilled small-scale smith Eduard Scharwächter decides to found a company. His initials are still the inspiration for the later company name – Edscha.
Blacksmith’s shop in the Bergish Land
Eduard Scharwächter works on his own at first. He manufactures front-door and room-door locks. His workplace is a simple blacksmith's shop. A water wheel probably drives one or even several blacksmith’s hammers.
Edscha staff around 1900
Eduard Scharwächter is said to have been a tinkerer, who owned patents and utility models for numerous products. Consequently, he soon expands his product range to include fittings, hinges and locks for carriages, and later also for other vehicles. He no longer works alone, but hires several staff members as well as two apprentices.
Early product range
Then begins the age of the automobile. At the beginning of the 20th century it is already an integral part of the cityscape in many European metropolises. Eduard Scharwächter recognizes the new possibilities and since 1905 has also manufactured fittings and locks for automobiles in his company. Hinges are added in 1913.
Production before modernization
In 1932 Edscha secures its first major orders for the automotive industry. Edscha hinges can now be found in legendary vehicles such as the Adler Trumpf, the Hanomag Kurier and the Hanomag Sturm. Further orders are added by the same customer and lay the foundation for Edscha’s economic rise. At the same time production is also modernized in a fundamental way.
Wheelbarrow production after the Second World War
At the end of the Second World War Edscha's business also comes to a brief standstill. Automobile production and thus also production at Edscha are suspended. Edscha therefore starts a new beginning with a new product that is urgently needed for reconstruction – the wheelbarrow. By mid-1948 Edscha has sold a total of 25,000.
Hinges from the main factory again
In 1947 automobile production restarts in Germany. Edscha initially supplies the Volkswagen with hinges, further orders placed by other customers follow. The German economic miracle takes its course in the 1950s. The automotive industry also booms and Edscha grows with it.
The Edscha staff is growing
In 1950 Edscha already has 130 staff members, by 1960 the staff has grown to 710. In the course of the boom Edscha expands and modernizes its main factory in Remscheid-Hasten, and a further factory, which is the Edscha headquarters nowadays, is built at Hohenhagen in Remscheid.
Hinges and more
Edscha is increasingly transferring its knowledge from the field of hinges about how to assemble moving parts with the lowest tolerances in a durable and safe manner to other body products. That way diversification is taking place in the project, series and individual-order business, which is becoming a cornerstone of Edscha's corporate success.
Truck with sliding roof
In 1953 Edscha manufactures a first folding top for trucks. In 1969 a patent creates the basis for the production of sliding roofs for trucks and the Edscha roof cover becomes the collective term for that innovation. In 2005 Edscha sells the division of sliding-roofs for trucks.
Tractor cabs from Hengersberg
Edscha opens its third site in Hengersberg, Lower Bavaria, in 1963. There – as everywhere in the Edscha world – hinges are manufactured at first. Later on, sliding roofs for trucks and finally tractor cabs are added. In the process, Edscha develops in Hengersberg a so-called scissor roof for agricultural tractors based on the sliding roof for trucks. In 1996 Edscha sells the cabin-construction division.
Convertible pleasure with Edscha
In 1985 Edscha gets an order placed by BMW to manufacture the convertible top for the 3 Series. One year later that leads to the establishment of the convertible-roof systems division in Hengersberg. Edscha builds 30 convertible tops a day there at first, later it is up to 200 per day. By 1991 Edscha has produced a total of 100,000 convertible-top systems for various car models; in 2004 Edscha delivers its millionth convertible top. Since 2010 that division has no longer been part of Edscha.
Edscha gains a foothold in China
Since 1975 Edscha has started to follow its customers wherever they are active and has been increasingly expanding abroad. New plants are established in South Africa and Brazil, followed by new locations in Italy, Spain, France and Canada. In 1994 Edscha ventures into China and becomes one of the pioneers of the German automotive industry in China. Edscha currently has 25 sites in 16 countries.
IPO in 1999
A management buy-out of Edscha Group takes place in the spring of 1997. Just a few months later the Edscha management announces to the press that it intends to float Edscha on the stock exchange within the next years. Time has come on March 31st, 1999: Edscha shares are listed on the Official Trading of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange for the first time.
Return to the family
Four years and ten months later the listing of the Edscha share on the stock exchange ends after a financial investor has acquired the majority of Edscha shares in the previous year. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis Edscha slips into a crisis and has to file for insolvency for its European sites at the beginning of 2009. Necessary restructuring measures are initiated and the company is being kept up. In 2010 the Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp finally takes over Edscha’s body-products division. That means that Edscha is once again part of a family-run concern.
Happy Birthday, Edscha!
Happy Birthday, Edscha! 150 eventful years. Edscha is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2020 with a VR world, an anniversary website, a special edition of the company magazine Edscha compact and a painting competition for children. Unfortunately, many other activities and all the family celebrations scheduled as part of the anniversary are cancelled due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.