GKN Land Systems
GKN Walterscheid GmbH

From a washhouse in Siegburg to an international corporation

1919

The founding year. Jean Walterscheid starts to manufacture bicycle parts in an old washhouse on Mühlengasse in Siegburg/Rhineland.

1934
Start of axle shaft production for cars and trucks, move to the former Hansensmühle hammer mill on Bachstrasse in Siegburg. No. of employees: 15.

1935
Bernhard Walterscheid-Müller joins the company.

1939
Armaments production. No. of employees: 50. Annual sales: 486,000 Reichsmarks.

From a washhouse in Siegburg to an international corporation

1919

The founding year. Jean Walterscheid starts to manufacture bicycle parts in an old washhouse on Mühlengasse in Siegburg/Rhineland.

1934
Start of axle shaft production for cars and trucks, move to the former Hansensmühle hammer mill on Bachstrasse in Siegburg. No. of employees: 15.

1935
Bernhard Walterscheid-Müller joins the company.

1939
Armaments production. No. of employees: 50. Annual sales: 486,000 Reichsmarks.

1944
Partial destruction of the company buildings in an air raid.

1945
Reconstruction. No. of employees: 8.

1951
Walterscheid pays the cost of its employees' holiday trips for the first time.

1952
Bernhard Walterscheid-Müller becomes co-proprietor and Managing Director of the company.

1953
Start of production of agricultural PTO drive shafts.

1955
Construction of the first production shop in Lohmar. Employees: 399. Annual sales: DM 12 million.

1957
New manufacturing segment: production of tube fittings.

1961
Transfer of axle shaft production to Lohmar. Employees: 940. Annual sales: DM 50 million.

1963
Founding of Birfield Trasmissioni in Bruneck, Italy, as a joint venture with the British partner company Birfield.

1964
Founding of Uni-Cardan AG: merger of the PTO drive shaft manufacturers Jean Walterscheid KG, Löhr & Bromkamp (Offenbach), Gelenkwellenbau GmbH (Essen). Later joined by Glaenzer-Spicer (Poissy, France), Birfield Trasmissioni, Walterscheid Schmiede- und Presswerk (Trier).

1966
Acquisition of the Birfield Group by GKN, resulting in GKN acquiring an interest in Uni-Cardan AG.

1967
Introduction of the 40-hour week. No. of employees: 1,630.

1971
Increase of the GKN interest to 59.6 percent. The GKN Group thus becomes the majority shareholder. Employees: 2,132. Annual sales: DM 157 million.

1976
Founding of Walterscheid Inc. in Burr Ridge, USA.

1980
Founding of the joint venture Matsui-Walterscheid in Tokyo, Japan.

1985
Construction of the high-bay warehouse. Annual sales: DM 301 million.

1986
Acquisition of the Agmaster company in St. Thomas, Canada. Employees: 1,725. Annual sales: DM 289 million.

1990
Construction of a new Walterscheid Canada (Agmaster) factory in Rodney, Canada. Employees: 1,660. Annual sales: DM 329 million.

1992
Conclusion of licensing and supply agreements with the Kaleli company in Ankara, Turkey, and Arya Mehvar in Teheran, Iran.

1993
Acquisition of the former Getriebewerk Kirschau GmbH, now GKN Walterscheid Getriebe GmbH.

1994
Walterscheid Rohrverbindungstechnik GmbH becomes an independent entity.

1998
GKN Walterscheid GmbH becomes part of the GKN OffHighway Division, headquartered in Lohmar.

1999
Start of construction of a new gearbox production facility in Sohland.

2002
Acquisition of the Glaenzer-Seurre Landtechnik company in Belgium. Renamed GKN Walterscheid Belgium BVBA.

2003
Opening of the new gearbox production facility in Sohland.

2005
Acquisition of the Cramer GmbH company in Essen.

2006
Acquisition of the American drive shaft manufacturer Rockford Powertrain in the USA.