Our history begins in 1882, when the Councillor of Commerce Peter Wegmann founds the Casseler Waggonfabriken von Wegmann, Harkort & Co. together with Richard Harkort. Already in January 1883, the young company with 210 employees is able to start production. The first 24 iron coal wagons leave the factory gates in May. The 1000th rail vehicle, a four-axle saloon car, is delivered to Spain in 1885.
In 1886 the company is renamed Wegmann & Co. This year, 520 workers are already producing 677 wagons. 15 years later, this number rises to 1500.
This is the motto of the production. In the anniversary year 1907 not only blacksmiths, locksmiths, turners, drills and riveters, but also carpenters, varnishers and even saddlers are part of the workforce, which includes 1000 employees. After 25 years Wegmann & Co. eventually holds a market share of 10% of the total German production of railway cars together with the wagon factory Gebrüder Credé & Co.
When company founder Peter Wegmann dies unexpectedly in 1912, the shareholders appoint the 37-year-old August Bode asmanaging director of the entire technical division. He joins the wagon factory on 1 May 1889 and is already seen as a highly motivated apprentice. Businessman Conrad Köhler is responsible for the commercial part.
Bode and Köhler steer the company through the war and the famine of the post-war years. The 1920s are characterised by a high level of interest rates, which makes investments more difficult. It is not unusual that the employees receive their payments according to the principle: "sugar instead of wage packet".
August Bode's sons grow into difficult times: the global economic crisis quickly replaces the Golden Twenties. With falling demand, industrial production in Germany falls by almost half until 1932. With the National Socialist takeover and the start of the war, the entrepreneurial scope for decision-making is restricted. After numerous bombing, in 1945 the factory lies in ruins.
At the age of 70, August Bode faces the greatest challenge of his professional life: Together with his two sons, he rebuilds the destroyed facilities. As senior manager he gives the company important impulses and leads it into the flourishing 1950s.
In the mid-1950s, travelling during the holidays becomes an affordable pastime. Those who can afford it are saving up in their own car - a serious competition for the railway industry. Wegmann & Co. sees this change as an opportunity: The "Reisezug-Doppelstock-Gepäck- und Autotransportwagen" is born and with it the idea of putting the car on the market as "luggage" for higher demands. In the upper deck there is space for 5 cars, in the lower deck for 2 cars, another one can fit on the lifting platform. When August Bode dies in 1960, his sons Dr. Engelhard and Fritz Bode take over the management of the company and turn it into a high-tech company.
Eight years later, the company is split into two independent companies - Wegmann & Co. and Gebrüder Bode & Co. In 1979 Wegmann & Co. is passed on to the sons of Fritz Bode, Manfred and Wolfgang Bode.
Founded in 1882 as a wagon construction company, today the WEGMANN Group is a group of companies that sets global standards with three business units as market and technology leaders: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG is a German-French joint venture of the security and defense industry; Schleifring GmbH on the other hand works as a system supplier for non-contact data and power transmission in the medical, radar, wind power and mechanical engineering industries; finally WEGMANN automotive GmbH with its precision manufacturing of balance weights, valves and other products has a big role in the automotive aftermarket.
MITROPA (Mitteleuropäische Schlaf- und Speisewagen Aktiengesellschaft) increases its stock of dining coaches due to increased demand between 1927 and 1929. Wegmann & Co. produces the fourth and last batch of the WR-4ü series. The dining cars are to be used in the 1st and 2nd class long-distance express trains.