New Square in mtu Works 1 Dedicated to Wilhelm Maybach
Posted on August 01, 2001
On Thursday, a newly built central square was opened in mtu Works 1. Mrs. Schmid-Maybach, the granddaughter of Wilhelm Maybach, and Dr. Rolf A. Hanssen (top right), president of the company´s board of management, named it for Wilhelm Maybach, the spiritual father of mtu.
Friedrichshafen - On Thursday, a newly built central square was opened in mtu Works 1. Mrs. Schmid-Maybach, the granddaughter of Wilhelm Maybach, and Dr. Rolf A. Hanssen (top right), president of the company´s board of management, named it for Wilhelm Maybach (left), the spiritual father of mtu.
At the main entrance of mtu Works 1, a central square (bottom) of generous size, a new reception building and parking facilities for visitors have been built near the Colsman intersection. Together with Mrs. Irmgard Schmid-Maybach, the granddaughter of Wilhelm Maybach, Dr. Hanssen dedicated the new square to Wilhelm Maybach, at whose instigation mtu´s preceding company, the "Motorenbau GmbH Friedrichshafen" (later "Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH"), started engine production in 1912.
For the company as well as for the town of Friedrichshafen, Wilhelm Maybach ranks as an outstanding personality, Dr. Hanssen said: "Without Wilhelm Maybach, there would be no mtu, and - in all probability - no engine production in Friedrichshafen." Furthermore, Wilhelm Maybach also set trends for automobile production.
Since the age of seventeen, Wilhelm Maybach, born in 1846, had been a close friend of Gottlieb Daimler, a friendship which resulted in a wealth of technical innovations. In the legendary greenhouse of the Daimler mansion in Canstatt, Maybach thus developed in 1883 the first high-speed gasoline engine and, two years later, designed the world´s first motorcycle, which was named "Daimler-Reitwagen" (Daimler riding vehicle).
The first motorboat of 1887, equipped with a one-HP engine, was also based on Maybach´s design. Later, he developed drive systems for passenger cars, trucks, railcars and airships.
In his inaugural address held on the occasion of the formal opening of the square, Dr. Hanssen emphasized Wilhelm Maybach´s significance for the automotive industry and reminded the audience that the world´s first modern automobile, the Mercedes car of 1901, had been developed by Maybach: "This automobile was a technological sensation because, for the very first time, car and drive system were of a piece, carefully matched to each other, and their design was based on a comprehensive outlook." These engineering achievements and many others, such as the racing cars designed by Maybach which triumphed on many race tracks, earned him the reputation of "king of the design engineers".
The foundation of the "Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH" at Bissingen was also instigated by Wilhelm Maybach. The company was established as a subsidiary of "Luftschiffbau Zeppelin" in 1909 to build engines for the airships of Count Zeppelin. Wilhelm and his son, Karl Maybach, became partners of this operation. In 1912, the company moved to Friedrichshafen, that is to the grounds of today´s mtu Works 1. Starting in 1918, it carried on business under the name of "Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH", mtu´s predecessor company.
As Dr. Hanssen stated, the year 1912 marked the beginning of engine production in Friedrichshafen, and thus the origin of mtu: "It is this fact, and Wilhelm Maybach´s outstanding achievements, which the square with its new layout is to commemorate and to document." Also inaugurated on the new square was a pavillon in which the company will present alternately historical Maybach automobiles and new Mercedes-Benz cars.