When August Bilstein laid the foundations for the innovation incubator BILSTEIN in 1873, nobody had any idea of the crucial influence the company's products would one day have on the comfort and safety in the automotive industry.
What started as metal window fittings has transformed into the leading technology for the best shock absorbers on the planet. The series of technical innovations that led to this shift started in 1919 when BILSTEIN was able to set up its own strip iron rolling mill. Hans Bilstein, who had taken the company over from his father, returned to his native Westphalia from the United States – bringing with him new concepts for nickel- and chrome-plating processes.
In 1927, Hans Bilstein made its move towards the automotive industry through his co-operation with the Berlin-based lifting gear company, Levator-Hebezeug-Fabrik. It was not long thereafter until he was able to see his entrepreneurial spirit bear fruit. BILSTEIN was about to revolutionize the auto industry by introducing a true world sensation – shock absorbers.
In 1954, BILSTEIN was the first to realize the potential offered by a French researcher in the field of vibrations. The aim was to eliminate the physical disadvantages of the conventional telescopic shock absorbers, while at the same time, making the shocks lighter and able to be fit in any position. Enormous effort went into development, accompanied by substantial investment in the necessary production facilities to achieve this ambitious goal – but it paid off.
The Mandern plant opened and the start of OEM shock absorber production began.
The introduction of the first mono-tube gas pressure shock absorber in a standard production Mercedes-Benz vehicle in 1957 was considered a major contribution to active driving safety. Ever since, monotube gas pressure shock absorbers developed and tested by BILSTEIN have found their way in top BILSTEIN quality into virtually all leading, performance-orientated car marques, from the Bugatti Veyron and Lamborghini Gallardo to the Porsche models 911, Boxster and Cayman.
The success story in motorsport began over 50 years ago when Mercedes-Benz first installed gas pressure shock absorbers made by BILSTEIN into a rally vehicle at the Monte Carlo Rally and won at the first attempt. Ever since, motorsport without BILSTEIN would be unthinkable, from victories in the rally world championships through legendary titles at all of the most important 24-hour races to victories in Formula 1 races and world championships.
BILSTEIN first established in the United States in 1972. BILSTEIN entered the OE Market in 1984. In order to expand upon our position as the leader in the high-tech, suspension design of driving comfort and safety, BILSTEIN became a division of thyssenkrupp Technologies AG in 1988. The partnership and co-operation within the group has enabled the company to continue to inspire with innovations in the traditional thyssenkrupp BILSTEIN way -- engineering. tomorrow. together.
1972 - 1988
BILSTEIN became a wholly-owned subsidiary and expanded its global presence. Plants in Hamilto, Ohio and Sibiu, Romania opened and began production.
1995 - 1996
thyssenkrupp BIA was selected as the suspension supplier for Tesla. The launch of the Up-Side Down DampTronic® Select also happened this year.
ADS capacity increases to 470,000+ pieces per year with the OE plant expansion. Oshkosh was granted the JLTV contract with thyssenkrupp and our Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) facility was formed. A $26,000,000 investment was made to facilitate Aftermarket and Original Equipment capacity and growth alongside our new SPV divison.
2015 - 2016
Further globalization took place, adding a new plant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The Sibiu plant in Romania began expansion.
2015 - 2016
BILSTEIN began series production of DampTronic® X technologies.
The BILSTEIN Logistics Center (BLC) was completed to create a warehouse on our Hamilton Campus.