History of TA Triumph-Adler AG FundingUniverse

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Adler M 100

TA Triumph-Adler AG History

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Key Dates:

1896: Triumph Fahrradwerke AG is founded in 1909: Triumph starts typewriters. 1953: Triumph is over by Max Grundig, merged Adlerwerke, and renamed Triumph-Adler. Litton Industries Inc. the company’s new majority shareholder. Triumph-Adler is acquired by Volkswagen AG.

The company is renamed TA Triumph-Adler AG. Italian Olivetti group over the company. 1994: sells to a group of German Triumph-Adler becomes a management company. 1997: The typewriter in Frankfurt/Main is closed down.

Triumph-Adler declares imaging and solutions its core business.


TA Triumph-Adler AG is Germany’s supplier of distribution services for copying and presentation equipment. The Experts-output division distributes and laser printers and copiers for than 22,000 clients at 80 locations. Originally a maker of the company views its future as on Internet-based output solutions for and data in electronic form.

The other mainstay is the holding TA Beteiligung, which oversees mid-sized companies in such fields as toys and leisure, technology, and electronics. TA Beteiligung is to go public in 2003.

Making Motorcycles, and Typewriters: 1896-1913

At the of the 19th century the world was by a flood of technical innovations paved the way for industrialization. One of them was the In the 1890s the new vehicle took the by storm.

The predecessor of the modern Velocipede —was equipped a giant front wheel and suitable only for acrobats. In however, two Englishmen invented a with much smaller which became increasingly At about the same time two entrepreneurs—Siegfried Bettmann and M. Schulte—founded a firm in Coventry, England, the Cycle Company Ltd.

In 1896 they established a in Nuremberg, Germany—the Deutsche Fahrradwerke AG.

Six months after it had established, Deutsche Triumph the Velodrom, a driving school for The Velodrom consisted of an open-air lot and a roofed cycling track Triumph customers could to master their new vehicles. On afternoons, a crowd of curious watched the bicyclists-in-the-making demonstrating progress, while sipping and enjoying live music. The promotion effort bore

Deutsche Triumph realized a 10 profit from one million in sales in the company’s first business year.

Selling was a seasonal trade, however, and the looked for new business opportunities. the demand for bicycles dried out in the season, Deutsche Triumph its production capacities to manufacture machines, surgery tables, and box springs. At the beginning of the 20th the automobile caught most of the attention. However, intense interest did not immediately translate purchases, due to the immense cost.

was an opportunity for another new vehicle offered the convenience of motor-power but at a lower price: the motorcycle. German engineer Gottlieb had invented the world’s first in 1885, a number of manufacturers at the opportunity. One of them was Deutsche which presented its first model in 1903.

The company realized that the German was still very limited and in decided to abandon motorcycles and solely on bicycles.

Only two later Deutsche Triumph into another new field they took over the of a bankrupt typewriter manufacturer in The Norica typewriter became the second key product, and in 1911 Triumph was renamed Triumph-Werke AG Nürnberg. Two years later became independent from its parent company.

Surviving Two Wars

During World War I, 1914 until 1919, made supplies crucial for the beds and tables for field fuses, and ammunition. After the war the resumed the production of motorcycles and Knirps—the first German with a two-… engine. The of motorcycles grew during the bolstering Triumph-Werke sales.

In 1923-24 the company’s output to 1,600 motorcycles. Five later it had grown to over Triumph-Werke also continued bicycles, almost reaching the output of about 16,000 by However, the demand for bicycles declining in 1927 and Triumph-Werke both the bicycle and motorcycle under one organizational roof.

In the company launched a new motorcycle—K9 was so small that a driver’s was not required to drive it. For a short Triumph-Werke also made motorcycles but abandoned them in the 1930s.

In 1920 Triumph-Werke also making typewriters again, with the prewar model 2. In 1925 the company received an for 600 typewriters from the telegraph division of the German post the Deutsche Reichspost. Three later a Triumph typewriter was to the Vatican, and the company received an from the pope himself. typewriters were continuously throughout the 1920s.

In 1928 the introduced three smaller models: Durabel, Norm 6, and In the mid-1930s Triumph-Werke erected a building for large-series production of its typewriter. In addition, the company its product range in the office sector and started making machines.

By 1938 Triumph-Werke about 1,800 people and was 15 million Reichsmark annually.

In Germany went to war again, and the economy was administered by the National government. Triumph-Werke’s mainstay this time was its BD 250 motorcycle, the German army ordered by the By 1940 the production of typewriters for use was restricted and ceased completely at the end of

World War II left the company’s and production facilities mostly Triumph-Werke then received a permit and started making bicycles and bicycle trailers, and hand-drawn carts. In 1948 the also resumed the manufacture of and in 1953 launched a new line of and motor scooters.

The mid-1950s saw a new Triumph typewriter, called the equipped with a patented return mechanism.

Losing and Independence: 1956-93

In 1953, the of Triumph-Werke by German entrepreneur Max whose core business was in electronics, ended the company’s Grundig reorganized the company to on office machines and shut the vehicle production. Research and (RD) efforts were towards better electric which were becoming popular for their more features.

With electronic processing on the rise, Triumph-Werke a telex-type tape punch in Triumph’s new Family Typewriter—a inspired by Grundig’s granddaughter a year later. Another F3 automated invoicing machine, with a connector for card the beginning of the office computer The company’s new electric typewriter 20 became its standard model of the

It was used by the world typing in Vienna in 1961, who scored 647 per minute, setting a new world

In 1957 Triumph-Werke acquired a share in Frankfurt/Main-based typewriter Adler. Combined, the two companies over 50 percent of the German for typewriters. By 1968 Triumph-Werke had an 82 stake in Adler, and the latter was with Triumph and the company Triumph-Adler.

Just around the that the integration of the two companies was Grundig sold Triumph-Adler to Hills-based Litton Industries

Backed by the new parent company, set out to conquer the growing market for In 1969 the company introduced the new TA 100 series. Triumph-Adler’s microcomputer RD, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution—was at headquarters in Nuremberg.

In 1971 the launched the TA 10, which dubbed the computer. It was the size of a suitcase and at a competitive price. Only two later Triumph-Adler had sold 10,000 of the computers. Still, accounted for more than 60 of the company’s total sales. In Triumph-Adler acquired the U.S.-based Group, using used the production plants and distribution to enter the American market.

Ten after the Litton takeover, sales had grown ten-fold. The professional microcomputers had a 19 percent share in Germany, a share than that of any other

In March 1979 German maker Volkswagen AG bought 55 of Triumph-Adler’s share capital, another 43 percent from and German Diehl GmbH in The company, which by 1980 had 17,000 employees on its payroll, was Triumph-Adler AG für Büro- und

That year marked the of a challenging era for Triumph-Adler, as the company a loss of DM 50 million. In the following top management focused on downsizing and The company’s workforce was cut in half and was extended to include department

None of these measures, stopped the company from behind the competition. By 1986 was only number five in the market for professional microcomputers, its market share having to 6.4 percent. In that year, sold most of its holdings in to the Italian Olivetti group, one of the main European competitors.

The new parent, however, was not able to the company from its downfall, by the increasingly popular IBM personal which rapidly replaced the microcomputer technology. By 1988 the of employees as well as the company’s had shrunk to less than the figures of 1984. Only the typewriter division turned up a

In the early 1990s Triumph-Adler Olivetti’s headquarters for office and an original equipment manufacturer for computer makers. In 1991 the launched a self-developed laptop However, the rapidly declining for computer hardware components and the cost for the new TA portable computer the company heavily into the Moreover, parent company was struggling too, cutting on orders for Triumph-Adler by one-third.

All of the production facilities in Nuremberg, and Schwandorf were shut while production was moved out of the Most of the company’s assets, as real estate and machinery, sold to cover some of the DM 160 in losses that Olivetti in 1992 alone.

By 1993 had shrunk to a quarter of its former It was, in fact, left with the typewriter production in Frankfurt/Main. In that year decided to rid itself of the loss-making and canceled the agreement with that had guaranteed that the parent would be responsible for up Triumph-Adler’s losses.

Olivetti integrated Triumph-Adler’s office distribution subsidiary, Triumph-Adler GmbH, into its own business.

Adler M 100
Adler M 100

New as a Management Holding in 1994

In a group of investors, including two an insurance company, and private bought what was left of the international brand typewriter Within a few months they the former manufacturing company a management holding for mid-sized

Those businesses—the backbone of economy—were struggling with problems, including the challenge of successors for their enterprise if own children were not available for the business; financing research and efforts or larger investments; and and managing their companies efficiently in increasingly competitive Triumph-Adler’s new management offered an under which such companies could better those challenges. The idea the management holding model was to higher profits through the resources and know-how of several companies within in the same or market, but keeping intact flat, more flexible

Equipped with several million in cash from Olivetti payments, the new Triumph-Adler company went on a shopping In addition to the already existing for office related products, acquired a broad variety of from toy manufacturers to health products, and organized them four major business TA Office, TA Toys Leisure, TA and TA BauTech. The latter included a of manufacturers and service providers in the industry.

In 1997 Triumph-Adler down its typewriter plant in In the mid-1990s the market for typewriters had drastically, by about 30 percent in alone. Personal computers had won the against the more limited of the typewriter.

Although in 2001 the still sold Triumph-Adler worth EUR 12.7 million, the was not profitable anymore.

For the better of the late 1990s Triumph-Adler to randomly add or dispose of its various In 1997 the company sold off its division which it had acquired two earlier. In 1998 the management added a new business division in the of electronics after the acquisition of the Group, a manufacturer of electrical and components for the auto industry.

In Triumph-Adler organized a public offering for their subsidiary a manufacturer of dolls based in near Coburg with a tradition. It premiered on the Frankfurt exchange as Zapf Creation AG. In the year the company acquired the Bell-Hermetics, Concord, Migua, and UTAX, some of which sold off again soon

However, the concept of the Mittelstandsholding did not to turn up the profits expected by and investors. The company’s portfolio had out into many areas were not connected in any way. In Triumph-Adler’s top management decided to its holdings and focus on office-based imaging, and presentation technology. The new business division was renamed Experts — Output.

The new strategy included selling off not related to the core business and new holdings in the defined area. In May Triumph-Adler sold its remaining in Zapf Creation. The cash of EUR 30 million prevented the company having to report a loss in the year 2001.

Looking to the future, Triumph-Adler to dispose of its holdings in the areas and leisure, construction technology, and by 2003.

Principal Subsidiaries: Experts — Output Triumph-Adler Output Solutions TA Leasing GmbH; Triumph-Adler Ost Triumph-Adler NordWest GmbH; SüdOst GmbH; UTAX UTAX (U.K.) Ltd.; A-Vi-Tec Präsentations- und Medientechnik (97-); Presentation Products Holding B.V. (Netherlands; TA electronic Holding GmbH; TA Holding GmbH; Concord GmbH Co. KG; Tectro Spielwaren Triumph-Adler SüdWest GmbH.

Competitors: Buhrmann NV; Guilbert Staples, Inc.


100 Jahre Triumph-Adler, Nuremberg, Triumph-Adler AG, 1996, 31 p.

In wenigen das Unternehmensprogramm weit aufgefächert, Allgemeine Zeitung . September 26, p. 22.

Kein Lichtblick für Süddeutsche Zeitung . May 25, 1993.

kündigt Beherrschung mit Triumph-Adler, Zeitung . October 13, 1993.

TA keine neuen Geschäftsfelder Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . 16, 1999, p. 25.

Triumph-Adler gibt Fertigung von Schreibmaschinen auf, Allgemeine Zeitung, September 25, p. 28.

Triumph Adler kauft Unternehmen, Frankfurter Allgemeine . March 4, 1995, p. 20.

Triumph-Adler durch internetgesteuerte Drucksysteme dpa, May 12, 2000.

Unternehmensverkauf nicht völlige Trennung Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . 28, 1998, p. 22.

Verkäufe verhindern bei Triumph-Adler, Frankfurter Allgemeine . March 22, 2002, p. 21.

Source: Directory of Company Histories . 48. St. James Press, 2003.

Adler M 100
Adler M 100
Adler M 100
Adler M 100
Adler M 100
Adler M 100


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