Tognum company mtu celebrates centenary

Posted on March 10, 2009

“Moving with passion” is the motto adopted by Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen for the series of events taking place in 2009 to mark its centenary.

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  • Large program of events
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel at international centenary gala
  • State Prime Minister Günther Oettinger to attend official ceremony
  • Festival for staff in July

Friedrichshafen, 10 March 2009. “Moving with passion” is the motto adopted by Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen for the series of events taking place in 2009 to mark its centenary. They include an official ceremony on 23 March to be attended by the Prime Minister of the German federal state Baden-Württemberg, Günther Oettinger, an international centenary gala on 6 May for which German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has accepted an invitation, a festival for staff on 11 July with and a musical performed by the local grammar school. But the launch of the new engine Series 1600 is also an important feature of the centenary year. A “100 years” logo based on the mtu logo with the two stylized flames is the unifying symbol of the centenary events and communications. As well as in Friedrichshafen, celebrations will also take place at the mtu sites in the USA and Asia.

The company, whose premium-class high-speed diesel engines are now used worldwide for powering ships, heavy land, rail and defense vehicles, and power generation plants, was founded on 23 March 1909 in the town of Bissingen an der Enz as the aircraft engine company Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH. The men behind it were Wilhelm and Karl Maybach and Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, names that still strike a chord with many more people than just technophiles.

“The fact that distinguished names will be among those celebrating with us is a great honor for us and underlines the standing that our company enjoys in this part of the world,” emphasizes Volker Heuer, CEO of MTU Friedrichshafen and its parent company, Tognum AG. Those names include the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Günther Oettinger, who is to deliver the keynote speech at the official centenary ceremony on 23 March. Exactly 100 years to the day from the date Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH was founded, around 200 invited guests will assemble in the Karl-Maybach-Haus in the grounds of the Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen – among them Karl Maybach’s daughter, Irmgard Schmid-Maybach. They will not only be honoring those who laid the company’s foundations, but also the celebrated and uncelebrated people who over ten decades have made it into the world-renowned specialist propulsion and energy system supplier it is today.

On 6 May, an international audience will await the appearance of Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel. She has announced her intention to attend the international centenary gala of mtu. Roughly 600 customers and mtu distributors from all over the world will gather at the Graf-Zeppelin-Haus in Friedrichshafen to celebrate the centenary of MTU Friedrichshafen, the company whose products they value so much. The Chancellor will deliver the evening’s keynote speech.

“You can only make the best engines if you have the best people to design, develop, build and sell them,” stresses mtu and Tognum CEO, Volker Heuer. “We are proud of our workforce. And every employee can be proud of helping to make the products that we supply,” he expands. As a thank-you, Plant No. 2 in the Friedrichshafen suburb of Manzell is to be the venue for an outdoor party for all Tognum Group employees in Germany on Saturday, 11 July. As well as the Tognum, mtu and Rotorion staff from Friedrichshafen, it also includes the employees of mtu Onsite Energy Gas Power Systems, mtu Onsite Energy Fuel Cell Systems and fuel-injection specialists L’Orange. A variety of fun events during the afternoon will be followed by an evening festival with live music.

The centenary year will also see the launch of a very special staff development initiative by mtu’s parent company, Tognum – the Tognum sailing ship. The ocean-going vessel currently nearing completion in Kiel is expected to make its debut on Lake Constance as soon as May. The ship will be used as a staff team-building and development vehicle for employees.

The centenary year also marks another milestone in the expansion of mtu’s engine portfolio. It will see the launch of volume production of the new Series 1600. The new design completes the lower end of the power range covering outputs from 270 to 730 kilowatts with engines produced in house. The new series also marks the company’s entry into high-volume production using a new standardized assembly process.

Another anniversary being celebrated this year is that of the mtu training department. It is exactly 90 years since the firm started training young people for careers as qualified technicians. The milestone will be marked in September by an apprentices’ football tournament in Friedrichshafen.

An eventful history such as that of mtu and the companies from which it is descended not only provides plenty of material for books and lectures, it has also been made the subject of a stage production by the Karl-Maybach-Gymnasium grammar school in Friedrichshafen. At the Graf-Zeppelin-Haus on three evenings in December, pupils will perform the musical “100 Years of mtu” written especially for the centenary year.

“For a hundred years, our claim has been to supply the best products. That claim to be the preferred partner for the best solutions will be put to the test more than ever in the future – for mtu and the Group as a whole,” emphasizes mtu and Tognum CEO, Volker Heuer.
Wolfgang Boller Spokesman Regional and Business Media
+49 7541 90 2159
Julia Höchel Spokeswoman Business and Financial Media
+49 7541 90 3989