Press releases

11.05.2018, Garching near Munich

The Zeppelin Group Delivers Environmentally Friendly Engines for Shipping

The company’s Power Systems business unit is making a contribution to environmental protection with its LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) engines 

The Zeppelin Group supports the process of establishing LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as an environmentally friendly fuel. With gas and dual-fuel engines from the Power Systems business unit, ships can be powered with Liquefied Natural Gas both while in the harbor and at sea. This results in significant lower emissions than with heavy fuel oil and marine diesel. The delivery of environmentally friendly liquid gas engines to Carnival Corporation represents an outstanding success. 

Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s largest cruise companies and AIDA Cruises’ parent company, is relying on the Zeppelin Group for their AIDAnova craft which is currently in construction at Meyer Werft. "AIDAnova will be the world’s first cruise ship to be operated with environmentally friendly LNG both while in the harbor and at sea," comments Volker Poßögel, Head of the Power Systems business unit. "Our MaK dual-fuel engines from the Caterpillar plant in Rostock will be used. In addition to the complete solution with four dual-fuel engines, we are also delivering the entire LNG preparation system for AIDAnova." The four engines, with a total output of around 62 MW, each weigh over 200 tons and comply with the latest emissions specifications for all regions. Zeppelin Power Systems will also equip six additional Carnival Corporation cruise ships with dual-fuel engines by 2023.

"Our customer promise is ‘We Create Solutions’. With LNG-based engines, we are offering an ecologically and economically sustainable alternative to emissions control systems, as well as supporting customers in meeting current and future requirements," explains Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH.

There will be stricter emissions regulations on the North Sea and Baltic Sea from January 2021, in line with those already applicable on the US coast. From that point in time all newly

built ships will be subject to a very low threshold for nitrogen oxide emissions – which is unachievable using heavy fuel oil or marine diesel unless the engine is rebuilt suitably. The use of Liquefied Natural Gas almost completely eradicates the release of fine dust and sulfur oxide, with nitrogen oxide and CO2 emissions reduced by up to 80% and 25% respectively.

04.05.2018, Garching near Munich

The Zeppelin Group Appoints New Labor Director

Alexandra Mebus will also become a member of the Group’s Management Board

Garching near Munich, May 4, 2018. The Supervisory Board of the Zeppelin Group appointed Alexandra Mebus as Managing Director and Labor Director in its meeting on November 24, 2017.

Alexandra Mebus will take up her new role with effect from July 1, 2018, taking over from Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Zeppelin GmbH Management Board, who temporarily held the role of acting Labor Director. As member of the Management Board, Ms Mebus, 41, will be responsible for HR and HR development. Mebus is an HR expert who has previously worked in various HR management roles for companies including foundation-owned company Robert Bosch GmbH and most recently, Voith Turbo GmbH & Co. KG, where she held a position as member of the management team at Voith Turbo GmbH.

"Ms Mebus, an expert in HR, brings her professional experience in a foundation-owned company, and we are delighted to be welcoming her on board at the Zeppelin Group," commented Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Zeppelin GmbH. "I wish Ms Mebus every success in her role at the Zeppelin Group."

Heribert Hierholzer, Employee Representative and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zeppelin GmbH, enthused, "We are very pleased to be welcoming a woman to the top management team at the Zeppelin Group, in the form of Alexandra Mebus."

"Ms Mebus identifies strongly with our values and corporate culture, and I’m so pleased that she will be joining us," added Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board at Zeppelin GmbH. "I’m looking forward to our successful collaboration!"

The top management team at the Zeppelin Group will be composed as follows from July 1, 2018: Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH, Michael Heidemann, Deputy Managing Director of Zeppelin GmbH, Christian Dummler, Managing Director and CFO of Zeppelin GmbH, and Alexandra Mebus, Managing Director and Labor Director at Zeppelin GmbH.

In her future role as Labor Director, Mebus will be responsible for around 8,000 Zeppelin employees and trainees worldwide.

13.04.2018, Friedrichshafen

Zeppelin Group posts record figures

Company development through targeted acquisitions and digital transformation

  • Group sales: EUR 2.75bn
  • Group earnings before taxes on income and earnings: EUR 93.5m
  • Average workforce over the year: 8,004 (including trainees)
  • Progress in implementing Strategy 2025
  • Group Management Board expects conditions to remain favorable in 2018

Friedrichshafen, April 13, 2018. The Zeppelin Group finishes the 2017 financial year having achieved the highest revenue in its history. Group sales totaled EUR 2.75bn (previous year: EUR 2.36bn), Group earnings before tax increased to EUR 93.5m (previous year: EUR 85.9m). The Creditreform Rating AG rating agency once again awarded the Zeppelin Group an “A-” credit rating with a stable outlook. The total investment volume was EUR 223.4m. The company is forecasting favorable financial conditions for 2018.

“The Zeppelin Group has had an extraordinarily successful year,” notes Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. “2017 was marked by strong growth in orders and sales, and a number of strategic acquisitions. We also successfully drove forward digital transformation of the existing business and the development of new digital business models.” Christian Dummler, Member of the Management Board and CFO of Zeppelin GmbH, adds: “The markets relevant to Zeppelin showed extremely dynamic growth in places, during the last financial year. The CIS countries are showing clear signs of recovery.” Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Zeppelin Group Supervisory Board, congratulates the company on its outstanding success: “These record results for Zeppelin are down to the great commitment and extraordinary motivation of the Group’s Management Board and staff. Our course is set for strong business performance in 2018.” 

Development of the Business Units
The Construction Equipment EU business unit continued on a growth trajectory. It managed once again to exceed the previous year’s sales figures and to further extend its leading market position. It increased incoming orders by focusing on additional markets, improving market penetration by recruiting new sales consultants, and optimizing sales and service processes as part of the digitization strategy to enable expansion of the range of products and services. 

The markets for the Construction Equipment CIS business unit recovered slightly. Major projects in Armenia and Ukraine, along with other projects in Russia, contributed to a high level of incoming orders especially in mining equipment. As the official Mercedes-Benz Trucks dealer, Zeppelin was able to add trucks to the product range in the Russian Republic of Karelia and the Archangelsk region.

The Rental business unit surpassed the EUR 400m mark for the first time. It acquired and integrated Limes Mobil GmbH to strengthen its market position in site and traffic guidance. Various mergers enabled it to create structures to make collaboration between the individual areas much faster and more efficient. As part of the digitization strategy the business unit expanded its digital ranges, for example with the container configuration tool which allows the user to plan and visualize container systems. It developed its online rental product range further, matching it to customer requirements. 

The Power Systems business unit achieved a high level of incoming orders and significantly expanded the service and spare parts business by comparison with the previous year. In the Marine business area the order book includes the supply to the Carnival Group of engines for seven new cruise ships. In addition it has agreed a full service and maintenance contract with Viking River Cruises AG for more than 40 inland vessels. Through the MWB Marine Services GmbH joint venture the business unit can now provide manufacturer-independent maintenance and repair services and spare parts for marine engines and drives. 

The Plant Engineering business unit had the same high level of orders as the previous year. Development was positive in all market segments. The order for the construction of the world’s largest tire recycling plant was truly a milestone. In addition to expanding the product portfolio, the acquisition of the aviation division of Mauderer Alutechnik GmbH also increased welding production capacity. A joint venture enabled the unit to achieve a significant improvement in process and control technology skills. Recently developed digital solutions help customers optimize production using data captured during the process.

The Z Lab business unit amalgamated digitization resources to create a pool of expertise. The strategic goal of the Zeppelin Group is to provide a digital platform for holistic solutions – which is not dependent on a particular manufacturer – in the construction industry and the industrial sector. 

Employer attractiveness and employee retention
In 2017 there were several initiatives to make the Zeppelin Group even more attractive as an employer. One priority is achieving an improved work-life balance. The berufundfamilie quality mark, which Zeppelin GmbH received in 2015, was extended to all of the German companies in the Group. The assessment considers measures to support employees, such as flexible working hours and additional employee benefits. There was also a strategic focus on developing a coordinated, uniform talent management system to enable key positions to be filled from within the company where possible. With the establishment of the Z NOW Zeppelin Network of Women, female skilled staff and managers are now specifically supported. 

Outlook for the 2018 financial year
The Zeppelin Group expects favorable financial conditions to continue in the 2018 financial year, although the forecast indicates slightly declining growth rates. The stabilization and further recovery of raw material prices should lead to further growth in the global economy. Continuing high investment in infrastructure and a sustained high level of residential construction will support a continuing boom in the construction industry, which in turn will present good market and sales opportunities for construction equipment in Germany.

While the company does not expect any major improvements in the marine and oil and gas applications sectors, growth is set to continue in the energy sector. The Zeppelin Group is also forecasting stable demand for processing plants in the plastic, rubber and food sectors. Full order books support the positive revenue expectations for the Construction Equipment EU, Construction Equipment CIS, Power Systems, and Plant Engineering business units. 

The Zeppelin Group is starting 2018 in a good market position in its field, with a full order book providing a good starting point for the year ahead.

Key figures at a glance

    2017 2016
Construction Equipment EU SBU EUR m 1,308 1,205
Construction Equipment CIS SBU EUR m 430 299
Rental SBU EUR m 410 363
Power Systems SBU EUR m 351 307
Plant Engineering SBU EUR m 326 262
Z Lab SBU EUR m 0 -
Group total EUR m 2,751 2,362
Employees  (average for the year, including trainees)
Group total    8,004 7,646
Earnings before taxes  EUR m 93.5 85.9
SBU: Strategic Business Unit      


19.03.2018, Garching

Zeppelin Group given seal of quality for its work/life balance

Zeppelin Group given seal of quality for its work/life balance and performs outstandingly in German employer ranking

The award underlines the company’s high HR policy standards.

Garching near Munich, March 19, 2018. The “berufundfamilie audit” certificate has been presented to the Group’s management holding company, Zeppelin GmbH, as well as its Construction Equipment EU, Rental, Power Systems, and Plant Engineering in Germany strategic business units. The seal of quality recognizes HR policies that are especially sustainable in terms of their attitude toward families and people at different stages of their lives. The patrons of the audit are the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The Group also became 144th overall in the ranking of the 1,000 best employers in Germany.  

The “berufundfamilie audit” certificate

Following the footsteps of the management holding company Zeppelin GmbH, which received the “berufundfamilie audit” seal of quality back in 2015, the Zeppelin Group’s German business units now also bear the sought-after hallmark. Companies looking for a positive audit score need to demonstrate very good results as well as forward-looking targets and measures in the action areas of working hours, work structure, workplaces, information and communication, leadership and management, HR development, pay components, benefits in kind, and services for families. As an employer, Zeppelin offers flexible working hours models, fringe benefits, and a family-oriented corporate culture, among other things. The audit also evaluates follow-up measures such as consistent rules on mobile working, corporate health care management, and the provision of childcare options during school holidays. “Work/life balance is a key priority at the Zeppelin Group,” says Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. “Our positive audit result confirms that our strategic initiative ‘Focus on our People’ is on the right track. Alongside remaining an attractive employer, we also want to ensure a high level of job satisfaction among our employees in future too.”

Every year, external auditors assess whether the action areas and planned measures are actually being implemented in practice. The “berufundfamilie audit” seal of quality is valid for three years. The Zeppelin Group’s long-term goal is to formulate common standards for work/life balance in order to provide a framework for guidance and action that its international subsidiaries and the Z Lab strategic business unit can use it too.

A top employer

The Zeppelin Group puts employees at the heart of its HR policy, as shown not least by the results of a nationwide evaluation of employers. In early 2018, Focus-Business news magazine, in collaboration with the kununu employee application platform, conducted its sixth search for Germany’s best employers. No fewer than 127,000 employee assessments were evaluated from an independent online survey, a survey of XING members, and recent kununu data. The assessment included topics such as working environment, remuneration, management style, and image. Another key question was whether employees would recommend their own employer to others.

Zeppelin became 144th in the overall rankings of the 1,000 best employees in Germany, achieving 11th place in the “mechanical and plant engineering” category and securing 7th spot in the “rail vehicle, ship, aircraft and other vehicle construction” sector. “We are very proud of our excellent showing in the employer rankings,” said Peter Gerstmann. “Our employees are key to the Group’s success. This is why we will continue to make sure that every single one of them has the opportunity to develop at Zeppelin.”

About the Zeppelin Group

The Zeppelin Group operates 190 sites around the world. Its over 8,000 employees achieved sales of 2.36 billion euros in the 2016 fiscal year. Group-wide collaboration in the Zeppelin Group revolves around a management holding company and six strategic business units: Construction Equipment EU (sales and servicing of construction machines), Construction Equipment CIS (sales and servicing of construction and agricultural machines), Rental (rental and project solutions for the construction and industry sectors), Power Systems (drive, propulsion, traction and energy systems), Plant Engineering (engineering and plant engineering), and Z Lab (new digital business models). Zeppelin GmbH is the Group holding company. It is legally domiciled in Friedrichshafen and has its head office in Garching near Munich. For more information, visit


Zeppelin GmbH
Corporate Communications
Graf-Zeppelin-Platz 1
D-85748 Garching near Munich

Group spokesperson:
Sandra Scherzer
Tel.: +89 3 20 00 - 440
Fax. +89 3 20 00 - 7440


28.08.2017, Garching near Munich

Zeppelin Group starts construction on the world’s largest tire recycling plant.

Zeppelin is taking on the planning and execution of the overall plant, which has a value of around $30 million.

Zeppelin is building a tire recycling plant in Terre Haute, USA, for its long-term collaborative partner Pyrolyx AG. The group is taking on the planning and execution of the overall plant, which has a value of around $30 million. The order value is around $17.6 million. Carbon Black will be recovered from old tires in this cutting-edge plant. This closes the reusable material cycle for Carbon Black, reducing the strain on the environment in the long term. The groundbreaking took place in Terre Haute on August 22, and the start of construction for the recovered Carbon Black (rCB) plant will be on September 5. 

“We are delighted to be supporting Pyrolyx in tire production with our expertise as a market leader in the plant engineering sector, as well as planning the entire plant and acting as general contractor,” commented Guido Veit, Business Unit Manager, Plastics & Rubber Plants at the Zeppelin Group. “This means that Zeppelin Group is also making an important contribution to the responsible handling of natural resources.”

The tire recycling plant at Terre Haute is expected to produce approximately 12,900 tons of rCB, as well as pyrolysis oil and steel. This will use around 4 million old tires every year, which would have previously been put into landfill or burned. Compared to traditional Carbon Black production, there will be a saving of approximately 2.5 tons of CO2 per ton of rCB.

“Our objective in the plant engineering business area is not only to build plants for tire production, but also to usefully supply these tires for further processing at the end of their useful life,” commented Axel Kiefer, Head of the Plant Engineering strategic business unit. In addition, Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH, emphasized: “Sustainable economic activity is securely anchored in the Zeppelin Group strategy. Solutions should make a decisive contribution to resolving one of the world’s most significant environmental problems.”


An innovative recycling process

In Germany alone, around 650,000 tons of old tires are accrued each year. These are put into landfill or burned in cement industry firing furnaces. As a result, valuable raw materials are being wasted. Zeppelin, together with Pyrolyx AG, has developed a process through which the main component – Carbon Black – can be recovered from old tires. The process uses pyrolysis to decompose shredded tires down to raw materials, and high-value Carbon Black is created. This closes the utilization cycle for old tires, and means the recovered Carbon Black can be used to produce new tires.

As well as Carbon Black, the Pyrolyx technology also releases oil and gas. The gas released by the process can be utilized in gas engines, supplying most of the energy needed for the process itself. The oil can be purified and recycled using various other methods. Valuable steel is also recovered from the tires.

Pyrolyx and Zeppelin have been working together for almost nine years. The Pyrolyx corporate group is the global market leader in retrieving recovered Carbon Black from old tires. 

30.06.2017, Garching near Munich

Successful strategic moves for Zeppelin Group

Leadership changes in three strategic business units

The Zeppelin Group has announced personnel changes at Management Board level in the Construction Equipment EU, Rental and Z Lab strategic business units (SBUs). The posts will be filled by employees from Zeppelin’s own ranks.

On June 30, 2017, Michael Heidemann will leave the Management Board of Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH. He has been a member of the Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH Management Board since 1999, and Chairman since 2008. He is now taking up the chairmanship of the company’s Supervisory Board. As Deputy Chairman of the Zeppelin Group Management Board, Michael Heidemann also retains responsibility for the three strategic business units of Construction Equipment EU, Construction Equipment CIS and Rental. With effect from July 1, 2017, Fred Cordes will take over as Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH. He has worked in the company since 1995, and has been managing the Sales and Marketing divisions since 2012. Fred Cordes will also simultaneously take over as Director of the Construction Equipment EU business unit.

A change of management is also underway in the Rental and Z Lab SBUs. Mr. Wolfgang Hahnenberg will leave the Management Board of Zeppelin Rental GmbH & Co. KG on June 30, 2017, and with effect from July 1, 2017, will take over as Director of the Z Lab SBU and Chairman of the Management Board of the subsidiary Klickrent GmbH. The Z Lab SBU was founded in 2016. It focuses on the development of new digital business models. Arne Severin has been CFO of Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH since 2013; on July 1, 2017, he will take over Wolfgang Hahnenberg’s positions as Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin Rental GmbH & Co. KG and Director of the Rental SBU. His successor from July 1, 2017, will be Dr. Andreas Kamm, previously Head of Division for Zeppelin Group Auditing.

“I wish my colleagues every success in their new roles and am proud that we have been able to fill four key Group positions from within our own ranks,” said Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. “Not only does this make it clear that our succession planning is being implemented effectively, but also that we are pursuing the same aims and stand for the same values across all SBUs. This facilitates smooth transitions from one Group business unit to another.”

29.06.2017, Garching near Munich

The Zeppelin Group Completes Acquisition in Poland

With this step, the company is further expanding the portfolio of its Construction Equipment EU strategic business unit

On June 26, 2017, the Zeppelin Group acquired shares in INTRAC Polska, thereby extending its activities in Poland. INTRAC Polska provides sales and service for MANITOU handling technology, and will now be integrated into Zeppelin Sp. z o.o., a subsidiary of Zeppelin CZ s.r.o. This acquisition means that the Zeppelin Group is strengthening its competitive position in Poland, while also offering improved local access to customers.

As part of the acquisition, the Zeppelin Group will be taking over the sales of machinery and spare parts, as well as servicing for MANITOU equipment at five sites in Poland. “With this acquisition, we are broadening our product portfolio, while also increasing our coverage of the Polish construction machinery market,” commented Jan Grünwald, CFO of Zeppelin CZ s.r.o. “The Polish market offers potential for growth, and, as a result, I view this acquisition as a logical step toward strengthening our company on the local market.” Jan David, Managing Director of Zeppelin Polska Sp. z o.o. added: “Furthermore, the INTRAC site network offers improved local access to both existing and new customers.”  “We will be responsible for 40 extra employees as part of the acquisition.” 

15.05.2017, Moscow

Zeppelin Russland – the official dealer of Mercedes-Benz trucks

On the 20th of April 2017 Zeppelin Russland completed an agreement with DAIMLER KAMAZ RUS and became the official dealer in Arkhangelsk Region and Republic of Karelia in terms of sales and aftersales services of Actros, Axor and Atego models of Mercedes-Benz trucks (including sales of spare parts).

Limited Liability Company «DAIMLER KAMAZ RUS» is the general importer of Mercedes-Benz trucks and commercial vehicles in the territory of Russia.

In 2009 Daimler AG and Russian car manufacturer «KAMAZ» agreed to set up two joint ventures on the basis of strategic partnership between Daimler AG, PJSC «KAMAZ», state corporation «Rostechnology» and investment bank «Troika Dialog». New company was launched in February 2010. In autumn 2010 LLC «MBTV» (LLC «DAIMLER KAMAZ RUS» from 21 January 2016) started its own production of Mercedes-Benz cargo machines using SKD in Naberezhnye Chelny (Tatarstan Republic, Russia).

Two offices of the company are located in Moscow and Naberezhnye Chelny. Mercedes-Benz dealer network covers the largest cities of central Russia, Siberia, Far East and continues an intensive expansion in other regions of Russia.

Zeppelin Russland is a part of Zeppelin Group. Over the past 20 years the company won good reputation in domestic market of specialized machinery. Besides selling top brand machines, equipment and technologies Zeppelin Russland offer its customers integrated solutions: professional aftersales services, expert advising, quick supply of original spare parts and accessories for maintenance works through its well-developed branch network.

With the new strong partner represented by DAIMLER KAMAZ RUS Zeppelin Russland keeps on delivering reliability and quality to its customers, continues to develop innovations.

The fact that Zeppelin Russland became a dealer of such a famous brand as Mercedes-Benz once again proves its business excellence and competitiveness. We are confident that this perspective partnership will secure market position of Zeppelin Russland and will make it even more flexible within economic changes in the challenging environment.

08.04.2017, Garching near Munich

Zeppelin Group Concludes a Successful Fiscal Year

Company experiences further development through targeted investments, and acquisition and expansion of new business areas  

  • Group sales: EUR 2.36 bn
  • Group's earnings before taxes on income and earnings: EUR 85.9 m
  • Average workforce over the year: 7,646 (including trainees)
  • Strategic focus: Digital Transformation 

Zeppelin Group had positive results in fiscal year 2016. Group sales totaled EUR 2.36 bn (previous year: EUR 2.33 bn), while the Group's earnings before taxes on income and earnings increased year on year to EUR 85.9 m (previous year: EUR 81.2m). Based on the positive results in recent years and the further increase in the Group results for the 2016 fiscal year, all employees will receive a special bonus of up to EUR 600.1 

“Thanks to the outstanding performance of our employees and the successful implementation of our strategy, we have succeeded in developing the Group further while remaining highly profitable – despite the continuing crises in Ukraine and Russia”, summarizes Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. “Fortunately, Creditreform Rating AG raised the Group’s credit rating to A- with a stable outlook once again in 2016”, adds Christian Dummler, Managing Director and CFO of Zeppelin GmbH. 

Strategic business units on track

The Construction Equipment EU business unit saw an extremely successful fiscal year. The construction equipment market share in Europe was expanded once again in 2016. A new sales record was set in Germany, with sales of 5,700 new Caterpillar machines, and more than 3,000 used. In the age of “smart iron”, digital construction equipment technology with geodata, machine data and assistance systems has become a key success factor in increasing customer benefits. 

Despite persisting geopolitical tensions, the Construction Equipment CIS business unit achieved a stable result and expanded its market position, particularly in Russia. The development of existing partnerships in the agricultural machines sector, as well as exceptional successes in terms of orders received, also contributed to this success. For example, in Armenia the business unit won its largest ever single order in the amount of USD 65 m. 

The Rental business unit achieved very good business development. The founding of Fast Rent GmbH has allowed the Group to appeal to a new customer segment and the takeover of the rental business area from STAPLER-RENT 2000 GmbH has expanded the unit’s product range considerably. In addition, the introduction of the online rental service has made it possible to create momentum within the market and marks an important step in securing the future of the company and networking with customers. 

The Power Systems business unit received a high volume of orders for cruise liner drive units and auxiliary generators in the marine segment. The business unit succeeded in expanding its range of services substantially, tapping into new market segments through obtaining the marketing rights for gas engine sets from the Mannheim-based Caterpillar Energy Solutions production facility (formerly MWM). 

The Plant Engineering business unit also saw positive development in 2016. The unit received its highest ever order volume in Germany and also won its largest single order to date in Russia. The business unit also completed a strategic repositioning in the food industry sector, which had a significant impact on order success. Silo production was concentrated in the Friedrichshafen site, with production discontinued in Genk, Belgium accordingly. 

Focal point digitization

The strategic focus of the Zeppelin Group in 2016 was on digitization. The digital expansion of existing business models was advanced, ensuring that customers could use a growing number of products and services online on a gradual basis. The founding of Z Lab, the sixth strategic business unit, which is to concentrate exclusively on the development and improvement of new digital business models, was a milestone achievement. The start-up klickrent – an online sharing platform for construction equipment – is the first digital product to be positioned on the market. In total, the Zeppelin Group is set to invest tens of millions of euros in the digitization of new and existing business models over the next five years. By 2025, the Group expects to be doing 50% of its business via digital business models and channels. 

Stable finances

In 2016, Creditreform Rating AG increased the Zeppelin Groupʼs credit rating from BBB+ to A-, with a stable outlook. In addition, the Group succeeded in reducing its net debt significantly in 2016. 

Investing in the future

The total investment volume for the 2016 fiscal year was EUR 230 m. Expansion of the warehousing, production and office capacities as well as the engine test rig at the Achim site near Bremen was completed, with a total investment of around EUR 31 m. Further expenditure of EUR 11.6 m went towards infrastructure development in the form of construction work and land acquisition. In addition, the fleet was modernized at a cost of EUR 15.4 m.

Sustainability and compliance

The successful implementation in Germany and Austria of an energy management system in line with the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard marked a further step towards becoming a sustainable company. Obtaining this certification constitutes an undertaking on the part of Zeppelin GmbH to make a sustainable, genuine contribution towards energy efficiency and thereby towards protecting the environment. In joining the UN Global Compact in 2016, Zeppelin has also highlighted its firm commitment to human rights and sustainable corporate management. 

Outlook for 2017

The Zeppelin Group is forecasting various developments in those markets relevant to the company. Oil and raw materials prices will remain at a low, if slightly raised, level. Little growth is expected in the plant engineering markets in China, the Middle East, Russia and South America. Similarly, no major increases are expected in the marine and oil and gas sectors. Continued positive market development and therefore sales development are expected for construction equipment in Central Europe, due to increased investment in infrastructure as well as high levels of capacity utilization within the construction industry. The Group also expects further growth in the markets for the rental of construction machines and equipment, flexible construction site management and logistics solutions. On the other hand, US and EU sanctions against Russia persist, which is severely curtailing growth potential on the construction and mining equipment markets. Zeppelin will continue to benefit from the shift towards renewable energy in 2017 and expects positive sales development for energy applications. The high level of project activity in the field of plastic production is also bolstering the Group’s positive expectations in terms of order volume. Demand for plastic, rubber and food processing plants remains stable. The Zeppelin Group began 2017 with its highest ever order volume, providing a good starting point for the year ahead.

Key figures at a glance 











Construction Equipment EU SBU





Construction Equipment CIS SBU





Rental SBU





Power Systems SBU





Plant Engineering SBU





Group total (including Zeppelin GmbH)









Employees (average for the year, including trainees)



Group total






Earnings before taxes






SBU: Strategic Business Unit





1: All current employees who have been employed in the German companies within Zeppelin Group in the period from 31.12.2016 will receive a special bonus of EUR 600, while employees in the international companies will be paid a bonus that is adjusted for purchasing power. These special payments will be made in addition to the profit-sharing bonus already paid out and will also be provided to employees who retired or entered active semi-retirement in 2016. Trainees and part-time employees will receive 50 percent of the bonus calculated.

06.02.2017, Garching near Munich

News from Zeppelin Group on the new Caterpillar headquarters

Caterpillar, partner to Zeppelin GmbH for many years, is relocating its headquarters from Peoria, Illinois, to the Chicago area

Caterpillar has announced that it is relocating its headquarters from Peoria, Illinois, to the Chicago area. A number of senior managers and employees from administrative units will be the first to move into the new headquarters from the start of 2017. Following completion, up to 300 employees will be based in Chicago, while the largest Caterpillar site worldwide will remain in Peoria. 

Caterpillar justified moving the headquarters by stressing the benefits of the site. The headquarters in Chicago will allow easier accessibility for customers and dealers, and support the Caterpillar’s global business activities. The new site is also more attractive to highly-qualified employees.

"As a commercial enterprise, we fully understand the business decision made by our partner Caterpillar, as location is a crucial factor for success for many companies", said Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH.

The old headquarters will continue to be vitally important, as Caterpillar still plans to base most of their employees in Peoria in future. "As mayor, I of course never want jobs to be moved out of our city. Having said that, the majority of Caterpillar employees who live in the Peoria area with their families will not be affected by this decision. I’m delighted that Caterpillar will continue to call Peoria its home town", said Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria.

The area around Peoria should continue to benefit greatly from Caterpillar’s support.