1896

The Eisenach vehicle factory is founded to produce covered military vehicles, guns, other military equipment and bicycles.

After Benz in Mannheim and Daimler in Bad Cannstatt, the Eisenach factory was the third company to begin building cars in Germany.

1899 Wartburg Motor Car | © Automobile World Eisenach
1899 Wartburg Motor Car | © Automobile World Eisenach

Through 1904

More than 30 different models of motor vehicles, motor trucks, motorised bicycles and tricycles and even electric vehicles were built in Eisenach before 1904.

1914 – 1919

Civilian production was stopped in 1914 – 1919 due to the outbreak of World War I and only military equipment such as army lorries, ammunition wagons, ambulances, cannons etc. were produced.

1921

Increasing competition results in a merger with the coach factory in Gotha.

1927

In 1927, a license agreement with Austin Motor Company to manufacture the Austin Seven which had been in production in Birmingham since 1922.

Dixi 3, 15 PS DA 1 of 1928 | © Automobile World Eisenach
Dixi 3, 15 PS DA 1 of 1928 | © Automobile World Eisenach

Through 1928

Through 1928, 26 different models of the Dixi car make were manufactured.

1928

The DIXI factory in Eisenach was taken over by BMW AG in Munich. This moment was the birth of what was to become one of the world's most popular automobile brands.

The first BMW was made in Eisenach.

BMW 328 Roadster of 1938 | © Automobile World Eisenach
BMW 328 Roadster of 1938 | © Automobile World Eisenach

1933

A new generation of vehicles built – the BMW 6-cylinder. Well-known BMW models such as the BMW 303, 309, 315, 319, 321, 327, 328 and more were produced in Eisenach through 1941.


BMW 321 of 1946 | © Automobile World Eisenach
BMW 321 of 1946 | © Automobile World Eisenach

1945

Order No. 93 of 13 October 1945, signed by Marshall Zhukov, allows car production to resume in Eisenach after
the end of the Second World War.

The cars being made at this time were BMW 321 models with a six-cylinder, four-stroke engine and BMW R 35 with a single-cylinder four-stroke engine. These were primarily sent as reparations to the Soviet Union.

From 1949

The new production of the sporty 6-cylinder BMW 327 starts in coupe and cabriolet versions.

EMW 340 limousine from 1953 | © Automobile World Eisenach
EMW 340 limousine from 1953 | © Automobile World Eisenach

1952

On 5 June 1952 the Eisenach car factory becomes a state-owned enterprise (VEB) and continues operation under the name Eisenacher Motorenwerk.
 
In the following years, Eisenach builds vehicles such as the IFA F9, the Wartburg 311, the sports car Wartburg 313 and the Wartburg 353. The production facility is renamed now called VEB AUTOMOBILWERK EISENACH (AWE).

1988

Through 1988, Eisenach builds only vehicles with two-stroke engines. Starting 12 October 1988, Volkswagen vehicles with a four-stroke engine begin production.

1989

As the GDR comes to an end, the sales of the Wartburg drop dramatically.

Wartburg 353 W limousine from 1981 | © Automobile World Eisenach
Wartburg 353 W limousine from 1981 | © Automobile World Eisenach

1991

On 10 April 1991, the last Wartburg is produced.

The history of Umform- und Fügetechnik Eisenach GmbH begins. Following closure of AWE, the  press and body shops continue operation through customer orders for pressed parts and component manufacturing.

On 13 December 1991 the Umform- und Fügetechnik Eisenach (UFE) was founded.

1991 – 1994

Umform- und Fügetechnik Eisenach (UFE) is operated through 1994 by the federal trustee for property formerly owned by the GDR.

1994 – 1999

With the participation of the state of Thuringia, UFE is organised as a limited liability company (GmbH).

1999 – 2002

UFE becomes a subsidiary of Benteler AG.

2002

A management buy-out separates UFE from Benteler AG.

2007

On 31 December 2007, UFE becomes a part of Kohl Group AG.

Artwork in Eisenach
Artwork in Eisenach

2011

Extensive investments have been made in the 15,000 m² site and roads at the Eisenach plant.  In order to meet the logistical challenges of the future, a 3,000 m² logistics facility and a 2,000 m² recycling facility are built. Significant investment has been made in machines including an 800 tonne hydraulic press for tube forming and a 1,200 tonne servo press with a table size of 6,000 mm. 
The photo shows artwork on the Eisenach site. The Wartburg included in this peace is the former management vehicle of Mr Kempa, used by Mr Ohrem and Mr Kempa in their first joint business trips in 1990.  The "K" in the piece symbolises that the Wartburg press shop is moving into a positive future as part of the Kohl Group.