Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, important Austrian metal-processing enterprise, developed in 1934 out of the merger of Austro-Daimler-Puchwerke AG and Steyr-Werke AG. In 1830, Leopold Werndl founded a rifle factory in Steyr, which was turned into an arms factory ("Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft") by his son Josef Werndl in 1869. The production of armaments was replaced by bicycle production from 1894 and automobile production from 1918; from 1923 the company was called Steyr-Werke AG. The Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (founded in 1899) at Wiener Neustadt had taken up the production of automobiles in 1900, and the Johann Puch-Erste steiermärkische Fahrrad-Fabriks-AG (Johann (Puch, Johann) in Graz, which manufactured motorcycles and automobiles, was also founded in 1899. The two companies merged in 1928 and formed the Austro-Daimler-Puchwerke AG.
During the Second World War, the company again produced armaments under the name Reichswerke Hermann Göring (32,000 employees), and new factories were opened in Graz-Thondorf (Styria) and St. Valentin (Lower Austria). In the mid-1960s the company produced passenger vehicles, lorries, off-road vehicles, tractors, agricultural machinery, ball and roller bearings, shooting equipment, motorcycles and motor-scooters, mopeds, bicycle, tools and engines, one-third of which was exported. With production sites at Steyr, Letten, Graz, Vienna-Simmering and St. Valentin, the production of lorries (80 % were made for MAN in 1989, Steyr Nutzfahrzeuge AG), buses, tractors, subcompact vehicles (until 1973), all-terrain vehicles (Haflinger 1959-1974, Pinzgauer from 1971-2000), wheeled and tracked vehicles, roller bearings, weapons, motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles (all two-wheeled vehicles discontinued in 1987) and around 17,000 employees, the company was the third largest in Austria in 1980 (Industry) after VOEST-Alpine AG (VOEST) and Vereinigte Edelstahlwerke AG. It was restructured and divided up into several enterprises (Steyr Antriebstechnik etc.), and had only 8,900 employees in 1991. Throughout the 1990s various production segments were spun off by Creditanstalt-Bankverein AG, the majority shareholder. Production of ball and roller bearings was sold to the Swedish company SKF, bus production to the Swedish Volvo group and tractors to the American Case group. In 1998 the entire Creditanstalt shares (66.8 % of Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG) was sold to Magna Holding AG with the exception of Steyr-Mannlicher (guns). Magna Holding bought up further shares from small shareholders and in the same year the production of heavy weapons was sold to an investment group (H. M. Malzacher) through a management buyout. The Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG group was incorporated into the Magna Holding AG group; the newly structured Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG concentrates on the production of driving systems. In 1998 the company had 933 employees and a turnover of ATS 3.79 billion. The firm Steyr-Daimler-Puch Fahrzeugtechnik AG & Co. KG (SFT), headquartered in Graz, is a separate subsidiary of Magna Holding AG.
Literature: H. Seper, 100 Jahre Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, 1964; R. Mayrhofer, Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG, 1989.
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