This year, Hirschmann Automotive celebrates its sixtieth anniversary. We can all take pride in the company’s long tradition. In 1959, Richard Hirschmann took over the reins of both the administration and canteen building and Hall 1 from a Swiss camera manufacturer. At that time, Vorarlberg was still considered a low-wage area. Initially, Rankweil was merely a production facility where roof antennae were built for radio and television reception. However, Richard Hirschmann quickly realized the facility’s potential and founded a new development department in which customer-specific solutions focused on transmission and reception were developed. His first customers included radio and television broadcasters from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, such as ORF, ZDF, ARD, and SRG, as well as Swedish and Finnish radio and television broadcasters.
In 1970, the first connectors were introduced, primarily for laboratories. This unlocked access to overmolding technology as well as contact and assembly processes – technologies that form the foundation of our business to this day. Until 1977, we had just a single employee working in development who also oversaw quality control and project tracking.
In 1980, we received our first contract from Mercedes-Benz in Untertürkheim for a speaker connection because the existing connector made static and popping sounds. We then manufactured our newly developed functional speaker connector, including cable, and delivered this special cable assembly to Mercedes-Benz. In the meantime, we employed two development engineers. From then on, our then still small automotive department took off. Additional applications followed, such as the heated side-view mirror.
All other departments were sold in the intervening years due to massive structural and technological restructuring. Asian companies focused on the development and production of electrical assemblies and greatly increased their capacities. However, Hirschmann Automotive GmbH prevailed in the end at the Rankweil location.
Today, we are a renowned global player in the automotive industry. Hirschmann Automotive components can be found worldwide in virtually every other new vehicle. The reliability and efficiency of our components is ensured by a team of over 1,000 employees in Rankweil and 4,500 additional employees in locations throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Our employees look back on our history with great respect, knowing that we all make up a small part of it, which enables us to better shape the future.