A success story since 1901


Webasto has been family-owned since its foundation in 1901. The company has been a supplier to the automotive industry for over 75 years: today it is split into the divisions Convertible, Roof & Body and Thermo &  Comfort for heating and air conditioning systems.


The dawn of an modern era (1901 - 1935)

1901: Foundation
At the age of 55, Wilhelm Baier founds a company that goes by the name of: „Esslinger Draht und Eisenwarenfabrik Wilhelm Baier, Esslingen/Neckar“.



1908: Move to Stockdorf/ Bavaria
Profiting from the proximity to the North-Italian bike industry and using the power of the river Würm to drive machines, Splashguards and racks become part of the portfolio.



1932: Steel plate and fabric
In the middle of the 30s the first folding roof of Webasto – the so-called “Baier folding roof” – is assembled into a panorama bus.


1935: Webasto puts the heating on
Development of the first heater for buses as well as engine-independent heaters for passenger cars.


A time full of innovations (1952 - 1974)

1952: More than hot air
Development of the first heater for buses as well as engine-independent heaters for passenger cars.

1956: Pioneer work

Webasto delivers the first steel sunroof to Daimler-Benz – on order for the types 180 till 220 as well as for the 300er special class („Adenauer“).



1974: The start of the glass roof's success story
A glass roof in the Ford Fiesta brings light and a feeling of space into the car.  Five years later the first serial pop-up sliding glass roof is installed.


Innovation & expansion (1986 - 1992)

1986: Foundation of the expansion
Webasto becomes a corporation. Webasto AG Fahrzeugtechnik continues to grow and commences sunroof production at the new plant in Schierling (near Regensburg).

1989: Light and air

The Audi A80 Coupé is equipped with the first sunroof with mono-crystalline solar cells for parking ventilation, which provides ventilation while closed.

1992: Neubrandenburg – new perspectives

Mit dem Bau einer neuen Produktionsstätte wandelt sich der ehemalige VEB Sirokko zu einem modernen Werk für Standheizungen.


Successful into the new millenium (2000 - 2009)

2000: Smart Convertible Roof
An attractive, small and modern car: the first convertible roof from Webasto is one of the most up-to-date of its time. It can be opened and closed during travel – just like a sliding roof.



2007: Big things for the little one
Der Smart fortwo trägt das weltweit größte Panoramadach aus Polycarbonat von Webasto.



2008: Expansion
Opening of the new headquarters of Thermo & Comfort in Gilching.



2009: Acquisition despite the crisis

Acquisition of the convertible division of Edscha – the largest acquisition ever made by Webasto.


On a growth track (2010 - today)

2010: Expansion with full pressure
With the aquisition of Karmann North America Webasto expanded its position as market leader for convertible roofs. For the first time ever the group achieved sales of around 2 billion Euros.

2010: Next-generation parking heater
The new Thermo Top Evo automobile heaters are the lightest in their class.



2011: 25 years convertible feeling 
The story of the Convertible Roofs unit began with the start of production for the BMW 3 series convertible.



2012: 75 years sunroof systems

Webasto enjoys it's 75 year anniversary of providing sunroofs to the automotive market.



2012: Diavia Acquisition
Acquisition of the Diavia air conditioning division for off-road and special-purpose vehicles from Delphi Italia Automotive Systems. New locations in Molinella (Italy) and Madrid (Spain).



2012: New Corporate Structure
Divestment of Roof and Heating Systems to the independent operating companies: Webasto Roof & Components SE and Webasto Thermo & Comfort SE. Conversion of Webasto AG to Webasto SE.