Progress-Werk Oberkirch AG

100 YEARS OF PWO – FROM BADEN MILL TO INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION

1919
ESTABLISHMENT OF “PROGRESS-WERK OBERKIRCH”
On September 6, 1919 – shortly after the end of World War I – seven Swabian entrepreneurs established the plant "Progreß-Werk Oberkirch". The location they selected was the old mill at Stadelhofen. However, since the neighbouring town was much better known they named the company after it. So they already thought ahead when naming the company.
1921
BANKER JOSEPH ANTON FRISCH
For many years, Stuttgart banker Joseph Anton Frisch was a major shareholder and member of the supervisory board. Frisch, as well as his brothers, daughters and sons-in-law shaped PWO right into the 1990s. Long-term thinking and acting is in our genes.
1920s & 1930s
GLOBAL MARKET LEADER FOR AIR PUMPS
During the "Roaring Twenties" the demand for air pumps increased worldwide since now it was not only bicycles that rode on pneumatic tyres but also motor vehicles. PWO supplied air pumps all over the world at an early stage which made it a global market leader for this product.
1933-1945
PART OF THE NAZI ARMAMENTS COMPLEX
Both the military and rearmament were at the centre of Nazi economic policy. PWO also became part of the Nazi armaments complex. The production range included, among others, ammunition boxes, heads of projectiles and gas traps for the "Sturmgewehr 44" assault rifle.
1950s
TOP SELLER PWO FIELD KITCHEN
For more than forty years, PWO field kitchens were top sellers. Before a new model went into series production, it was extensively demonstrated and tested on the plant premises – including the food prepared. Food from the PWO mobile kitchen was served at stockholders’ meetings, too.
THE FLEET OF PWO MOTOR SCOOTERS
During the years of the German "Wirtschaftswunder" PWO produced motor scooters such as the "Strolch" ("Rascal") and its successor, the "Progress". With its own "motor scooter fleet" PWO also presented the scooters at events.
1978
INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING
In June 1978 PWO went public at the Stuttgart stock exchange. On the first day, its shares were traded at about double their par value of 50 DM. Exemplary: Both the management and the workers’ council had agreed that each employee should be given the option to purchase 25 stocks.
1980s
PRODUCT RANGE DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY
During the Cold War era, "defence technology" was one core area of the PWO product range. The company produced transport and storage containers for both ammunition and the "Mehrzweckwaffe 1", a multi-purpose weapon, for which PWO also took over the packing and assembly of cable harnesses. The MW-1 was part of the armament of Bundeswehr combat aircraft.
Since the 1990s
COMPLETE FOCUS ON AUTOMOTIVE
PWO has been a supplier to the automotive industry since the 1950s. After German reunification we set our focus completely on the automotive sector.
2019
PWO AS GLOBAL PLAYER
Today, PWO is a partner for the global automotive industry in the development and manufacture of high-precision metal components and subsystems in lightweight construction. This positioning is acknowledged regularly by awards such as the one granted recently by our customer Bosch