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Dräxlmaier Group

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Title: Dräxlmaier Group  
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Dräxlmaier Group

Dräxlmaier Group
Industry Automotive
Founded 1958
Headquarters Vilsbiburg, Germany
Key people
Fritz Dräxlmaier, (CEO)
Products Automotive
Revenue €1.8 billion (2010)[1]
Number of employees
38,000 (2010)[1]

Dräxlmaier Group is a German automotive component supplier possessing expertise in auto electric, interiors, plastics, toolmaking and logistics. Founded in 1958, the family run enterprise is nowadays one of the biggest component supplier within Germany, running 58 sites in 22 countries on 4 continents. The Headquarters of the Dräxlmaier Group is based in Vilsbiburg, Lower Bavaria, Germany. The Dräxlmaier Group has such renowned customers as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar and Bugatti.[2]


Dräxlmaier Group was founded in May 1958 in Vilsbiburg, Germany by Lisa and Fritz Dräxlmaier. Their first order is for 50,000 wire harnesses for the Goggomobil[3] manufactured by Hans Glas GmbH. A short time later, another order followed for the interior (door panels, upholstery, instrument panels, rear deck). Soon the company gained foothold in the business, and in 1960 Dräxlmaier installed its first facilities for high-frequency welding and thermoplastic vacuum molding for interior business.[4] The company's product lineup expanded rapidly during its first six years. Plans for a new factory, already on the drawing board in 1962, become a reality in 1964 as the company opened its first 2,400 square-meter manufacturing facility. It began production of polyurethane foam components. In 1966 BMW[5] became a new customer of Dräxlmaier Group.[6]

Ten years after its founding, the company had evolved internally as well. It opened its own tool and die shop and introduced its first EDP system. At first, the system was used only to process warehouse transactions but soon it is handling accounting as well. During the next 3 years the company kept on growing and expanding. Audi, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz became new customers[7] and the headquarters in Vilsbiburg was extended, opening a new building for manufacturing and administration.[8] 1974 The cornerstone is laid for globalization as the first manufacturing facility in Tunisia[9] opens its doors[5] and two years later even expanded to America[10] as the first German OEM opens a manufacturing facility in the United States. Growth at home requires the entire plastics division to move to Geisenhausen. Operations now take up some 17,000 square meters.[11]

Operations continued to expanded after 25 years of dynamic growth, expanding from one company to six, from a staff of ten to 1,300.[12] In the year 1983 a great educational initiative launches, with a record number of 46 vocational trainees. The president of Germany thanks Dräxlmaier "for exemplary service in providing job training to young people". The group incorporated to keep pace with growth, giving rise to Lisa Dräxlmaier GmbH and Eldra Kunststofftechnik GmbH. Four new foreign affiliates took up operations and a centralized EDP network linked the entire company. In 1987 Dräxlmaier's typical supply chain took shape with construction of its automated high-rise parts warehouse. The warehouse anticipated the trend to just-in-time/customer-specific wire harnesses. The high-rise warehouse (enlarged several times since then) has been the basis of all the logistical structures which have been key to Dräxlmaier's dynamic growth.[13]

In 1988 the company celebrated its 30tth anniversary and Fritz Dräxlmaier received the "Bayerischer Verdienstorden"[14] on behalf of the approximately 3,400 employees from Bavarian politician Franz Josef Strauss. The concept of customer-specific wire harnesses provided the catalyst for the rapid transition from a Lower Bavarian group of companies to an international enterprise. Dräxlmaier became the first supplier capable of reacting to customers' mass-production needs by manufacturing and delivering customized electrical systems in lot size 1 and just in sequence. Customer-specific wire harnesses became a reality for all three major customers - Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi - within the space of a single year.[15] In 1993 Dräxlmaier Group started expansion into the former East Bloc by entering Czechoslovakia and Romania.[16] The following year Dräxlmaier won out over international mega-suppliers in a concept competition. The task of designing, manufacturing and delivering the entire cockpit for the Mercedes-Benz CLK (C208) made Eldra a system supplier of interiors. In 1995 Fritz Dräxlmaier, Sr. died at 80 years of age. In the words of Minister of Economics August R. Lang, the company lost one of "Lower Bavaria's most prominent entrepreneurs". Two years later the "Firmengruppe Dräxlmaier" was rechristened "Dräxlmaier Group" "(DRX)". In the same year the company won a concept competition sponsored by BMW for the E65 door module as a "Functionally Integrated System" (FIS). The FIS order for the BMW 7 Series was the first design order for a door module. An order for FIS center consoles soon followed. Both modules for the BMW 7 Series were manufactured just in sequence and delivered to the OEM line in Dingolfing.[17]

Dräxlmaier obtained control of HIB Holzindustrie Bruchsal GmbH.[18] The acquisition allows Dräxlmaier to add premium wood trim to its product lineup. The Dräxlmaier Technology Center opened its doors the same year. The ultramodern architecture supports the entire process chain and houses modeling, tool and die, prototype facilities and SEP. The following year Dräxlmaier got to be the first system supplier to manufacture a full leather interior for the Mercedes-Benz CL Coupe. In 2000 the Dräxlmaier Group receives the "Formula Q"[19] quality prize from Volkswagen, awarded to the 20 best suppliers for absolute reliability, high quality and zero defects, etc. This follows on the heels of various other prizes awarded by different OEM partners. In the same year, DRX designed and manufactured the complete Interior for the BMW Z8, the first order of this magnitude from BMW. Porsche, Jaguar and Cadillac are won over as new customers. In 2002 DRX supplies interiors for the Maybach luxury limousine. Dräxlmaier was responsible for the entire electrical system, the interior and the fine wood trim.[20] During the years 98 – 08 new facilities and plants open in Achim, China and Mexico, San Luis Potosí.[21]

In 2010, Dräxlmaier Group sold the business unit HIB (Holzindustrie Bruchsal), which produces wooden trims elements, to the subsidiary Mutares AG, including the stakes in Vilsbiburg and Codlea in Romania.[22]

In July 2012 the company announced that it will open a new production facility in Kavadarci, Macedonia and that will employ up to 4,000 people. This is Dräxlmaier's first plant in Macedonia.[23] The Macedonian company managed to employ more than 4,500 by 2015.


Dräxlmaier Group accompanies the manufacturing process right from the drawing board to series production,[24] designing and manufacturing the complete electrical system, interiors and door modules to customer specifications.[25]

  • Interior: Complete interior (for example for the Mercedes-Benz SL and for the Maybach luxury limousine), side/roof/door trim panel (for example the FIS door module for the BMW 7 Series), center console, gearshift/transmission selector lever.[25]
  • Electrical/Electronic: Total wiring harness systems, KSK (customer-specific wiring harnesses), LWL (fiber-optic cables), night design, interior/ceiling/door/seat/main/audio/engine and cockpit wiring harnesses, pre-fuse concepts, power management, ambient lighting.[26]
  • Modules: Door, cockpit and center console modules.[27]

The company has 58 production sites in 22 countries on 4 different continents.

Financial data

Financial data in billions of euro
Years 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Sales 1,30 1,38 1,28 1,42 1,59 1,65 1,74 1,38 1,80
Staff 24,900 24,950 27,800 28,500 31,000 36,000 35,000 32,000 38,000
Source: Official site


Business Campus

Qestronic is a subsidiary enterprise of Dräxlmaier Group. It was founded on July 2009 and is located in Geisenhausen, Lower Bavaria, Germany. The company produces components and total systems, digital electronics, high-voltage energy storage and complete E-mobility solutions.[28]


  1. ^ a b – Top ArbeitgeberDräxlmaier Group. Website Top Arbeitgeber. Abgerufen am 13.09.2012.
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External links

  • Draexlmaier Global site (in German and English)
  • Dräxlmaier Group - DBpedia
  • [/DraexlmaierGroup.aspx/Producatorii_germani_de_componente_auto_au_schimbat_economia_din_vestul_tarii.html Investments in Romania] (in romanian)
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