Press releases

29.03.2019, Garching bei München

The Zeppelin Group completes the financial year with a new record

Targeted digitization and acquisitions contribute to success 

  • The Group Financial Statements are compiled in accordance with IFRS for the first time
  • Group sales: EUR 2.9 bn
  • Group earnings before taxes on income and earnings: EUR 131 m
  • Average workforce over the year: 8,502 (FTEs, including trainees)
  • Group Management Board expects conditions to be largely stable in 2019

Garching near Munich, Germany, March 29, 2019. The Zeppelin Group finishes the 2018 financial year having achieved the highest revenue in its history, and has once again exceeded the previous year’s result. Group sales totaled EUR 2.9 bn (previous year: EUR 2.62 bn), Group earnings before tax increased to EUR 131 m (previous year: EUR 97.7 m). In 2018, Creditreform Rating AG rated the Zeppelin Group’s creditworthiness as A- for the third consecutive time, and stated that its outlook is stable. The total investment volume was around EUR 279 m. The company is forecasting largely stable financial conditions for 2019.

“With revenue of EUR 2.9 bn, the Zeppelin Group has just completed the best financial year in the company’s history,” comments Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. “We have further increased both our order entry and revenue in 2018. We also concentrated on driving forward the digital transformation of our existing business and the development of new digital business models.” Christian Dummler, Member of the Management Board and CFO of Zeppelin GmbH, adds: “Zeppelin compiled its Group Financial Statements in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the first time in 2018, as well as adapting the previous year’s figures to the new financial reporting standard. It is now far more straightforward for national and international business partners to assess Zeppelin’s financial performance and creditworthiness. In this way, we are taking our growing international importance into account and as such are very much fit for the future in respect of reporting and financial market communication.” The Group’s result gives Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Zeppelin Group, reason to look with confidence to the current financial year: “The fact that Zeppelin has once again achieved a record result is proof of the extraordinary commitment and motivation of all of the Group’s employees. This is the ideal foundation for continued positive and stable development in 2019.”

Development of the Business Units

Zeppelin benefited from the consistently positive situation in the construction industry, with the result that the Construction Equipment EU strategic business unit (hereinafter: SBU) was able to maintain a high position – and in some cases even slightly expand its leading role – in the construction equipment market in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic; it also exceeded the revenue of the previous year. New products contributed to the result, such as the 320 GC, 320 and 323 tracked excavators which are setting new standards in the 20-25 ton class, while further developed and expanded digital services also played an important role.

The Construction Equipment CIS SBU significantly increased its revenue, and successfully completed the financial year despite growing economic and political restrictions such as the rise in import duties imposed by Russia. These limitations were counteracted by stable business activity in most of the SBU’s revenue markets: The construction machine industry is recording growth rates in almost all markets, and Zeppelin has achieved double-digit percentage growth for new machine sales. Zeppelin has moved away from business activities whose development has not met financial expectations. This includes the agricultural machinery business area in some regions of Russia, as well as the small Russian sales territory for the sale of commercial vehicles.

The 2018 revenue for the Rental SBU once again significantly exceeded the very good previous year. Zeppelin achieved an above-average share in market growth, and – through the acquisition of Baustellen-Verkehrs-Technik GmbH – further strengthened its presence in site and traffic guidance across Germany.

Revenue for the Power Systems SBU was based first and foremost on high turnover of new engines, and very good capacity utilization in the service and spare parts business. The sales and service of industrial engines proved to be particularly strong here. The AIDAnova is the world’s first cruise ship to be equipped with MaK dual fuel engines, supplied by Caterpillar and fitted by Zeppelin; this puts Zeppelin in a great position as interest in liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines increases. Alternative gas applications are also in demand for major and complete energy production systems, such as combined heat and power plants (CHP plants). Zeppelin has become established as a general contractor in this respect, for example with a new CHP plant for Stadtwerke Aachen.

The Plant Engineering SBU achieved very high order entry due to winning several major orders for the construction of plastic production plants in China. For the baking industry, Zeppelin has brought to market product innovations such as the CODOS NT kneading system, and the KROMix. It strengthened its market position in the rubber and tire production sector in 2018 through the acquisition of Italian company Nuova Ciba S.p.A.

The Z Lab SBU is committed to the development of digital solutions for the construction industry, using agile methods and innovative technologies to make the construction site of the future more efficient, more connected, and more automated. In 2018, a management solution for inventory management and scheduling for construction equipment was developed, and it is launched to market as zamics in 2019. In addition, the development of klickcheck, a solution for creating a digitized and automated issuing and return process for rental equipment, was worked on. This offering is supplemented by the klickrent platforms for rental of construction machines, and klickparts for the sale of spare parts and construction machines.

New Corporate Design

In our age of digitization and an ever-increasing flood of information, it’s essential for companies to have an easily recognizable brand, in order to remain both competitive and fit for the future. For this reason, in December 2018, Zeppelin added a figurative mark to its word mark, and changed the lettering color from gray to indigo blue. The Zeppelin lettering, which the company has been using since the 1970s remains unchanged, as does the corporate tagline “We Create Solutions” – an important expression of the Group’s identity.

Outlook for the 2019 financial year

The Zeppelin Group is working on the assumption of fundamentally stable economic conditions for the 2019 financial year, although there may be slightly less dynamic growth in some market segments. The uncertainty of the political situation may have a dampening effect on markets in Russia and the CIS countries in particular.

Consistently high demand for construction is to be expected, particularly in respect of civil engineering projects such as bridges and transportation routes. Zeppelin expects the bauma 2019 trade fair – the world’s largest trade fair, taking place in Munich in April – to create particular momentum for the construction machinery business as well as for machine and equipment rental, temporary infrastructure, and construction logistics.

In energy and propulsion technology, the trend towards smaller engines for industrial applications will continue, whereas in the combined heat and power plant/gas engine sector, large-scale plants from 20 MW will be increasingly important. The Group is working on the assumption of largely stable demand for drivetrain solutions for rail vehicles, as well as diesel emergency power systems in the data center segment.

Bulk goods solutions required in the recycling and battery production sectors offer growth opportunities into new markets for plant engineering.

The good starting situation and high level of existing orders for the Zeppelin Group enables a positive outlook for 2019.

bauma 2019

At bauma, Zeppelin will showcase 64 different construction machines in all size classes together with its partner Caterpillar. Exhibits will include 20 new introductions – more than ever before. A great deal of interest is expected for the next generation of mini-excavators, which are already equipped with low-consumption engines that meet emissions level V. Alternative drive systems that make construction machines cleaner, more efficient, and quieter, are also in demand: Zeppelin and Caterpillar are presenting the first fully electrically operated variant of the compact Cat 906 wheel loader.

Zeppelin will also be presenting innovations in the digital products and services sector, such as the virtual exploration of an engine installation project using VR glasses, which opens up potential for optimization even in the planning phase of engine installation. Traffic telematics solutions enable a greater degree of safety to be achieved in road traffic, as well as reduced traffic jams and increased environmental protection. New digital applications for innovative equipment management will simplify logistical processes on the customer side.

Additional information about bauma is available at https://wearebauma.com

Key figures at a glance

 

 

2018

2017

 

Revenue

 

 

 

 

Construction Equipment EU SBU

EUR m

1,315

1,210

 

Construction Equipment CIS SBU

EUR m

482

412

 

Rental SBU

EUR m

473

410

 

Power Systems SBU

EUR m

360

341

 

Plant Engineering SBU

EUR m

348

323

 

Z Lab SBU

EUR m

1

0

 

 

Group total

EUR m

2,897

2,622

 

 

 

Employees  (average for the year (FTEs), including trainees)

 

 

Group total

 

8,502

8,004

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashflow from operating activity

EUR m

256.9

219.0

 

Investments

EUR m

279.4

223.4

 

Earnings after taxes

EUR m

90.0

63.0

 

SBU: Strategic Business Unit

All information in accordance with IFRS

 

 

 

 

 

Caption: The Management Board of the Zeppelin Group: Michael Heidemann, Peter Gerstmann, Alexandra Mebus, Christian Dummler.

© Zeppelin GmbH

This press release may be reproduced free of charge. Please notify us or send us a copy for our records.

 

17.01.2019, Garching near Munich

Peter Gerstmann, Head of Zeppelin Group, reconfirmed in role

On January 14, 2019, the Supervisory Board of Zeppelin GmbH extended Peter Gerstmann’s contract as Chairman of the Management Board by an additional five-year term, confirming the graduate business economist in office up until 2024.

Peter Gerstmann has been working for the global Zeppelin Group since 2000. Following various management positions, he took on leadership of the Group in 2010, when he became Chairman of the Management Board. 

Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zeppelin GmbH, comments on the contract extension: “In Peter Gerstmann we have a very experienced manager at the top of the Zeppelin Group. After he took over management of the Group in 2010, his value-oriented business management yielded sustainable increases in sales, profit and headcount, and resulted in a stable market position for the company. The contract extension underlines our recognition of his high level of commitment, and we consider this step to be a sustainable safeguard for our foundation-owned company, which – with Mr. Gerstmann at the helm – is also ideally equipped for the digital future.”

“I’m delighted that Peter Gerstmann will be managing the Zeppelin Group for a further five years. On behalf of the workforce, where he is appreciated as a reliable manager and partner, we offer him our congratulations. We look forward to further collaboration, wish him the best of success in the continuation of his responsibilities, and will be very happy to go on providing him with our support,” concludes Heribert Hierholzer, Deputy Chair of the Supervisory Board of Zeppelin GmbH.

Peter Gerstmann is very pleased about the confirmation of his responsibility as Chairman of Zeppelin GmbH: “I’m delighted to be able to continue in my role at the top of the company in these exciting times. As a manager, the task of taking a tradition-rich, foundation-owned company such as Zeppelin into the age of digitalization is a challenging and hugely interesting one. It is also a great joy and honor for me to know I can continue successfully collaborating with my colleagues for the years to come. I would like to thank the Supervisory Board and the shareholder for their confidence.”

Caption: Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH

© Zeppelin GmbH

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12.12.2018, Garching near Munich

Zeppelin Group launches new brand presence

The combination of the word and figurative mark and the indigo blue corporate color will define the company’s appearance in future

From today, the Zeppelin Group will be sporting a reworked fresh appearance. New additions include a figurative mark, extending the word mark used to date, and the indigo blue corporate color. The new corporate design emphasizes the company’s service and solutions portfolio. It also bolsters the company’s distinctiveness in the era of digitization.

In a competitive environment, high recognition value is absolutely essential – and a combination of words and images is particularly memorable. So the Zeppelin Group has decided to add a figurative mark to its word mark. This comprises two enclosing elements that form a “Z” for Zeppelin, and represent the interlinkage and unity of the company. The new indigo blue corporate color also makes the company stand out from the competition. It emphasizes Zeppelin’s stability and stands for the technological strength of the brand, which is renowned for its characteristic progress and dynamism.

Zeppelin has always placed equally great importance on a future focus and respect for tradition, which is why the company paid special attention to the Group’s roots when redesigning its brand presence. The Zeppelin lettering, which the company has been using since the 1970s, and the corporate tagline “We Create Solutions” – an important part of the Group’s identity – remain unchanged. The Zeppelin corporate design offers a renewed visual interpretation of these strengths.

“This relaunch of our appearance is allowing us to encapsulate the further development of our company in our appearance. It also enables us to communicate the shared strengths of our company, that connect us and express our brand more clearly to the outside world,” explains Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Group Management Board.

The one exception in terms of the new corporate design is Zeppelin’s status as a partner to Caterpillar: The long years of strategic partnership between the two companies will continue to be reflected in the long-established dealer logos.

Caption: The Management Board of the Zeppelin GmbH with the new word and figurative mark: Peter Gerstmann (Chairman of the Management Board), Michael Heidemann (Vice Chairman of the Management Board), Alexandra Mebus (Managing Director and Director of Industrial Relations), Christian Dummler (Managing Director and CFO) (from left to right).

© Zeppelin GmbH

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15.11.2018, Frankfurt

The Zeppelin Group Reaches the Final of the Corporate Culture Awards

The Zeppelin Group placed among the top three finalists in the Corporate Culture Awards 2018 on November 15, in recognition of its exemplary corporate culture

The Zeppelin Group’s unique value system earned the company a place among the three finalists in the Corporate Culture Awards 2018. Ultimately, the Group narrowly missed out on victory in the Best Story category. A total of 153 German companies were nominated for the Corporate Culture Award.

 

The celebratory prize-giving for the Corporate Culture Awards 2018 took place on November 15, 2018 at St Paul’s Church, Frankfurt, as part of the 10th German Economic Forum. This is the first year of these awards being given, honoring extraordinary companies across Germany which demonstrate a strong corporate culture. A total of 153 companies were nominated for the Corporate Culture Awards, across four categories: Digital Culture, Shared Value, Change, and Best Story. The award was initiated by Gregor Schönborn from Deep White, Kai Anderson from Promerit, Oliver Grüttemeier from Serviceplan Cologne and Dr. Mark Schiffhauer from DIE ZEIT.

In a two-stage procedure that included a detailed and scientifically grounded cultural analysis, Zeppelin impressed the panel of representatives from the worlds of science, media, and business practice, and emerged as a finalist in the Best Story category, out of a total of 153 submitted nominations. Ultimately, the Group narrowly missed out victory. After the prize-giving, Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Zeppelin GmbH Management Board, commented: “Even though we are not bringing an award home, we’re delighted to be a finalist in the Corporate Culture Awards 2018, having really impressed the prestigious panel with our own special values system: the ‘Grafensätze’.” 

Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, inventor of the airship, achieved his goals with a pioneering spirit, strength of will, and courage – and in doing so laid the foundation stone for today’s Zeppelin Group. Ten Grafensätze inspired by him are now at the heart of the Zeppelin Group’s value system, bringing together the company’s unique history and the lived values of Graf von Zeppelin with the corporate culture practiced today in the Group. They create identification, drive development, and focus on shared goals.

This press release may be reproduced free of charge. Please notify us or send us a copy for our records. 

 
27.07.2018, Garching near Munich

The Zeppelin Group named best Caterpillar dealer in Europe again

Zeppelin receives Caterpillar Global Dealer Excellence Award for the third time in 2018. Special recognition for services in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic

Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby and Caterpillar Group President Bob De Lange named the Zeppelin Group as the best Caterpillar dealer in Europe, at the Caterpillar Global Dealer Excellence Award 2018 ceremony. There was a special acknowledgment of Zeppelin’s services in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Michael Heidemann, Vice Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH, accepted the award as Europe’s best Caterpillar dealer on behalf of the Zeppelin Group, at the ceremony in the Vienna Hofburg on July 18, 2018. The company’s achievements in the Czech and Slovak Republics were singled out for particular recognition; Zeppelin gained additional market share in these areas and set itself apart from the competition by providing excellent service.

“It is a great honor for me to bring home the award for Zeppelin as Europe’s best Caterpillar dealer for the third time. Our employees’ focus on solutions and their passion are key elements of our success,” Michael Heidemann enthuses. “We have successfully translated the strategy that we developed jointly with Caterpillar into targets and numbers.”

Caterpillar introduced the award in 2013, and presents it in recognition of its best sales and service partners worldwide. The winner is decided based on partners’ achievements in terms of market share, profitability and customer satisfaction. Zeppelin also received the coveted award in Mexico in 2013 and in Dubai in 2015.

20.07.2018, Friedrichshafen

Changes in the Zeppelin Group Supervisory Board

Dipl.-Ing. Werner Baier is leaving the Zeppelin GmbH Supervisory Board after almost 30 years. Prof. Yasmin Mei-Yee Weiß has been appointed as a new member

Dipl.-Ing. Werner Baier, a Shareholder Representative, is leaving the Zeppelin GmbH Supervisory Board after almost 30 years. Prof. Yasmin Mei-Yee Weiß was appointed as his successor by shareholders and the Zeppelin Foundation Council in the Supervisory Board meeting on July 20, 2018.

The Supervisory Board and Group Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH bade farewell to Dipl.-Ing. Werner Baier, and in the same meeting welcomed Prof. Yasmin Mei-Yee Weiß to her new office as the first female Shareholder Representative.

"With Werner Baier’s departure we have lost an outstanding and formative entrepreneur from the Zeppelin GmbH Supervisory Board. He was active in successfully shaping the company’s development with his intelligent, objective, and calm approach. Werner Baier was a valuable adviser and supporter to me, both as a person and as an entrepreneur. Zeppelin benefited from his strategic and entrepreneurial vision, particularly when the company experienced difficult times. Werner Baier has decided to leave us for age-related reasons, and we are extremely sad to see him go. We marvel at the entrepreneurial and social commitment he has always shown, and I would like to thank him personally on behalf of the Zeppelin Foundation and the Zeppelin Group for his consistently fair, constructive, and valuable collaboration on our board.

We are delighted that, in Prof. Weiß, we have found a successor with outstanding qualifications. I have no doubt that she will bring valuable insights based on her wide range of experience and in particular her international profile. I wish her a positive start as she joins our ranks," commented Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zeppelin GmbH, during the summer meeting of the Supervisory Board on July 20.

Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH added: "Werner Baier played a key role in shaping the image of the Zeppelin GmbH Supervisory Board for almost 30 years. In doing so, we stood together shoulder-to-shoulder as we wrote history, for example when we launched on the Russian market 20 years ago. We are grateful for the many years of positive collaboration we have enjoyed with him. Looking forward, I happily anticipate much dialog and collaboration with Ms Weiß. Her appointment also takes us further on our chosen path of bringing on board more female managers in our company."

The Zeppelin Group Supervisory Board is formed on the basis of parity in accordance with Section 7 of the German Co-Determination Act and is composed of six Shareholder and Employee Representatives each.

Caption: The new and departing member of the Zeppelin GmbH Supervisory Board: Yasmin Mei-Yee Weiß and Werner Baier. © Zeppelin GmbH

28.06.2018, Garching near Munich

Outstanding: Zeppelin Group awarded seal of quality for its work-life balance in Berlin

The company’s strategic family- and life stage-conscious HR policy has received prestigious recognition

The Zeppelin Group’s management holding company, Zeppelin GmbH, has just positively passed a second berufundfamilie audit, while the Construction Equipment EU, Rental, Power Systems, and Plant Engineering strategic business units in Germany have been awarded the "berufundfamilie audit" certificate for the first time. The quality seal represents exceptionally high HR policy standards. The patrons of the audit are the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. While the announcement that the management holding company and its strategic business units had won the award was made in March, the official presentation of the certificate recently took place in Berlin. 

The berufundfamilie audit certificate

Following in 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 will now also bear the sought-after quality mark as of March. Alexandra Mebus – who is set to take over as Managing Director and Labor Director of the Zeppelin GmbH from July 1, 2018 – accepted the award as her first official act, at the award ceremony in Berlin. "I am delighted to work for a company that places such importance on a healthy work-life balance. High standards and framework conditions that encourage a healthy balance between our work and family lives significantly contribute to job satisfaction. In my new role, I will strive to ensure that this balance is safeguarded and further promoted in the future," says Mebus. The certificate was handed over by John-Philip Hammersen, Managing Director of the non-profit Hertie-foundation and Oliver Schmitz, Managing Director of berufundfamilie Service GmbH. 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 advisory committee 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.

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 also use. A total of 300 employers – 153 companies, 106 institutions and 41 universities – have received the award.

About the berufundfamilie audit

Applicable in all sectors and in companies of all sizes, the audit assesses the status quo with regard to the measures currently in place to accommodate family life and life phases, systematically develops the individual potential of the company, and ensures that an awareness of family is anchored within the culture of the organization through binding target agreements. After the process has been completed successfully, an independent advisory board consisting of prominent representatives from the fields of business, science and politics as well as various associations, awards the audit certificate. The practical implementation of the measures is checked on an annual basis by berufundfamilie Service GmbH. After three years, further HR policy targets may be agreed as part of a re-audit. The employer may only continue to display the certificate if it passes this re-audit successfully. Since its inception in 1998, the certificate has been awarded to over 1,700 employers. A total of 971 employers, including 475 companies, 387 institutions and 109 universities, currently hold the berufundfamilie audit or familiengerechte hochschule audit certificate, and over 1.89 million employees and more than 1.4 million students have benefited as a result.

23.05.2018, Friedrichshafen

Zeppelin Group boosts its aviation expertise in Friedrichshafen

Broader portfolio under a new name                                                     

The Zeppelin Group is expanding the nationwide presence of Zeppelin Plant Engineering’s business unit Quality Service. By doing so and in order to stay abreast of the constant developments in aerospace expertise and the growing service spectrum, the business unit has been renamed Zeppelin Aviation & Industrial Service. In June 2018, the company will open its doors at a new location near the Cologne Bonn airport, where various facilities such as a modern training center for the aviation industry are being installed.

For one year now, The Zeppelin Group’s strategic business unit Plant Engineering has been extending its service range for the aviation industry. At the end of April, it introduced its new business unit Zeppelin Aviation & Industrial Service (formerly Quality Service) to the industry experts at the ILA (international aerospace exhibition) in Berlin. Harald Schneider, head of the business unit, and its team provided customers and prospects with information on the extended range of services. “The visitors showed a concrete and diversified interest in our services. This proves to us that our portfolio definitely meets their requirements,” Schneider observed. Even Katrin Schütz, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing of the state of Baden-Württemberg, spent time with the team of specialists to enquire about the range of services.

Broader portfolio under a new name

“By renaming our business unit, we not only want to highlight our specific competence in aviation manufacturing and testing, but we also want to demonstrate that our expertise enables us to create sophisticated solutions for sophisticated products even in other branches,” Schneider explains. The key novelties in the portfolio of Zeppelin Aviation & Industrial Service are the serial production of aircraft components, the enhancements in material testing for test services directly on the aircraft (on-wing testing) and the experts’ flexible availability from three German locations in the future – Friedrichshafen, Cologne and Hamburg – as well as mobile services at the customer’s site upon request. Tests in co-operation with BIS Inspection Service GmbH, a subsidiary of Zeppelin Rental GmbH, will be carried out on the aircraft at the Airbus plant in Hamburg Finkenwerder. The facility in Cologne will be completely new. “With our enlarged team of expert aviation test engineers we provide our customers with extraordinarily high flexibility and extremely short reaction times,” Schneider points out.

As we speak, preparations are running at full speed for the first training for aviation test engineers at the new location on the Sankt Augustin campus near the Cologne Bonn airport. The training facility for material testing processes in the aviation industry is the first sector to be operational at the new location from June 2018. Other workshop rooms for testing services will follow. From now on, trainings for five different test procedures will be carried out in compliance with aviation standards in Friedrichshafen and Cologne.

Customers of Zeppelin Aviation & Industrial Service include companies in various industries such as aerospace, automotive, mechanical and plant engineering, railway and medical technology. The tasks of the 60 employees include the development and production of welded constructions and all tasks related to quality assurance. Zeppelin Aviation & Industrial Service also runs a training center for the aviation industry. For more information: www.zeppelin-systems.com.

Caption: Having a talk at the ILA (from left): Professor Dr.-Ing. Rolf-Jürgen Ahlers, Chairman Forum Aerospace Baden-Württemberg e.V., Katrin Schütz, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing of the state of Baden-Württemberg, Harald Schneider, Head of Zeppelin Aviation & Industrial Service, Jürgen Schäfer, Member of the Executive Board at Baden-Württemberg International.

17.05.2018, Garching near Munich

Zeppelin Group presents its “Digital Construction Site” for innovation exhibition at Friedrichshafen’s Zeppelin Museum

From May 18 to November 4, 2018, the company will be showcasing its integrated range of services at the "Innovations! Destination: Future" exhibition

The event is all about the future of the construction industry and what contribution the Zeppelin Group can make in shaping it. Visitors to the exhibition in Friedrichshafen will be able to make their way interactively and digitally through a virtual Zeppelin world of construction, from planning and setting up a construction site to fitout and commissioning. The Zeppelin Group offers its customers solutions from a one-stop shop. And, for visitors to the exhibition, the company will be putting on attractions including a whole digital construction site experience. 

Covering an area of some 1,000 m², the "Innovations! Destination: Future" exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen will run from May 18 to November 4. It will shine a spotlight not only on the historical and economic development of the city but also on the latest innovations and visions for the future being developed by the global corporations Zeppelin GmbH, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH.

To present the Zeppelin Group’s extensive portfolio of products and services in an innovative way, the company is showcasing no fewer than three digital applications at the innovation exhibition, the highlight being its "Digital Construction Site." Six 65-inch monitors enable visitors to click their way interactively and digitally through every stage of a construction site, from the planning and setup to the civil and structural engineering, the fitout and the commissioning, thereby having fun while learning about the full range of the Group’s solutions. By activating various 3D elements, not only can visitors experience the services offered by the Group, they can also obtain interesting additional insights into products and typical processes involved in planning and undertaking a construction project. "The Digital Construction Site is an innovative way to show people what the Zeppelin Group offers as well as being a great example of how solution-oriented we are," says Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH.

Another feature of the Zeppelin Group’s exhibition is the "Digital Food Processing Plant," an example illustrating its plant engineering activities. An interactive media table with 55-inch touchscreen allows visitors to a look all round the inside of a 3D food processing plant boasting inviting 360° views. Here too, further information such as brochures, movies, and short descriptive texts lies in wait behind every clickable element, thus guaranteeing an out-of-the-ordinary 3D experience in this part of the exhibition as well. Really capturing the spirit of the event, Zeppelin will be rounding off its exhibition space with an "Innovation Gallery." Continuing the digital theme, this extremely innovative area will enable visitors to explore a 3D Zeppelin showroom full of pictures and background information about the Group. Technical support for this part of the exhibition comes courtesy of a 55-inch touchscreen and a 65-inch monitor, presenting the world of the Zeppelin Group in its entirety.

Further information on the "Innovations! Destination: Future" exhibition can be found on the website of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen at: www.zeppelin-museum.de/en. As well as innovations, there are other exciting exhibits from the Zeppelin Group awaiting your discovery in the exhibition’s history section. And don’t miss the opportunity to take a look at the jewel in the exhibition’s crown: the Gaylord Gladiator, a luxury sports car built by the Zeppelin Group in 1957 and a real one-off among classic automobiles.

Photo caption: Today’s „Digital Construction Site“ at one click: The Zeppelin Group presents their range of solutions for the world of construction and plant engineering in the “Innovationen! Zukunft als Ziel” (“Innovations! Destination: Future”) exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen. © Zeppelin GmbH

17.05.2018, Garching near Munich

Zeppelin Group showcases an automobile in a class of its own: the one-off 1957 Gaylord Gladiator

The company will unveil the perfectly preserved sports car as part of the "Innovations! Destination: Future" exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen.

This automobile is a unique specimen from the age of Germany’s "economic miracle" and a piece of Friedrichshafen’s industrial history. At the request of two wealthy American brothers, the Zeppelin Group built a unique car in 1957, known as the Gaylord Gladiator. The only automobile of its type in the world had lain under the radar for more than 60 years. Pure chance led to the Zeppelin Group reclaiming this unique specimen, a real piece of company history.

The story of the Gaylord Gladiator

The FIF vehicle repair facility at Friedrichshafen, which would go on to become part of the Zeppelin Group, was commissioned to build a particularly spectacular vehicle in the mid-1950s: Two wealthy American brothers, Jim and Ed Gaylord, were looking to get a truly exceptional sports car built for them. Staff at Friedrichshafen worked for over a year on an extremely elaborate and expensive sports car: the Gaylord Gladiator. Only three chassis were produced in all, with the bodywork only being completed on one of them. Once the vehicle was completed in 1958, it and one rolling chassis passed into the ownership of the Gaylord family. Up until now, it was always believed that the third chassis had been lost. After restoration work that brought the vehicle and rolling chassis virtually back to their original condition, the perfectly preserved Gaylord Gladiator, together with its chassis, numerous spare parts, design drawings, and other historical documents, was sold to an elderly automobile collector from Arizona.

In early 2017, the Zeppelin Group received an invitation via the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen to buy the classic car – a stroke of luck for the Group, as the vehicle had lain under the radar for many years and was believed to be lost. "You can’t put into words just how historically significant the Gaylord Gladiator is for us as a company," says Peter Gerstmann, Chairman of the Management Board of Zeppelin GmbH. "With its outstanding workmanship and its unswerving focus on its customers in terms of how it was made, even today the Gaylord continues to embody values that make the Zeppelin Group one of the leading solution providers in its areas of activity." The Zeppelin Group has its roots in the metal industry and now employs more than 8,300 people at 190 sites in 35 countries. Adopting the slogan "We Create Solutions," the company provides solutions for the construction industry and plant engineering.

As far as the city of Friedrichshafen is concerned, this extraordinary vehicle is not only a major attraction but also historical evidence of the city’s great innovative strength. "Through aviation in particular, Friedrichshafen has played a special role in the area of mobility since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution," says a proud Andreas Brand, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zeppelin GmbH and Lord Mayor of the City of Friedrichshafen. "The Gaylord Gladiator is yet further proof of the city’s visionary strength and unique character."

Ahead of its time: technical sophistication meets German workmanship

The word "spectacular" not only describes the design of the Gaylord Gladiator, the work of US automobile design legend Brooks Stevens – it also applies to the sports car’s technology, given that it was built back in 1957. As well as convenient features such as electrically adjustable seats, electric windows, power steering, brake servos, and air conditioning, the Gaylord Gladiator also came with a convertible roof that could be folded down completely into the trunk at the touch of a button. At the time, there was nothing remotely like these features anywhere else on the international car market.

Despite the sophisticated overall concept, the wealth of innovation involved, and the high quality specifications, a plan to produce a small batch of 25 vehicles for sale at a price of USD 10,000 each never saw the light of day. Only one of the 25 cars was ever built. It soon became apparent that the sales price calculated was unrealistic, while further price adjustments resulting from additional innovations such as installing air conditioning made the vehicle prohibitively expensive. To remain economically viable, the price was first raised to USD 15,000 before being revised upward again to USD 17,500. By way of comparison, a Mercedes 300 SL cost around 32,000 Deutschmarks at that time. Assuming DM 4.20 to the dollar, the Gaylord Gladiator thus cost more than twice as much, or the equivalent of around DM 73,500 in the mid-1950s. Being the only automobile of its type in the world, not only is the Gaylord Gladiator a unique specimen in the classic car industry and a priceless find for the Zeppelin Group, it is also a true gem of Friedrichshafen’s industrial heritage.

The Gaylord Gladiator at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen

This perfectly preserved vehicle, working chassis, and fascinating history of its creation and life story will all be presented to the German public at the opening of the "Innovations! Destination: Future" exhibition at 7:30 p.m. on May 17. From May 18 to November 4, the Gaylord Gladiator will be on show as part of this exhibition at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, before being made available to the Zeppelin Museum on permanent loan from the Zeppelin Group.

 

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