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From a family-owned business to global success

1935

Reinhold Hagen founded the “Galvanische Werkstätten“ (Galvanic Shops) in April 1935. The company performed galvanic works and also produced die-cut and extracted items. At that time, Hagen realizes - correctly as it turns out – that the new material “polyvinylchloride" (PVC) will be highly significant. With this in mind, he laid the cornerstone of our company in plastics processing. The company was later renamed in Kautex (from the German word “Kautschuk” meaning natural rubber). It company began to produce seals, sleeves, hoses, and profiles.

1949

We build the first blow-mold machines and bottle production starts. In the run-up to this process, Reinold Hagen and his brother Norbert Hagen experiment with the manufacture of hollow articles on a rebuilt friction press with an upstream extruder.

1964

With the construction of the first prototype of a plastic fuel tank made of polyamide for Ford, we begin our successful move into the automotive industry.

1972

We develop the first plastic fuel tank made of HDPE, which is integrated into a VW Passat as the first plastic fuel tank in serial production.

1976

Our Machining department is sold to Krupp and is renamed Krupp Kautex.

1984

With the opening of a production plant in Spain, we begin our expansion into international markets. Two years later, we enter the North American market by opening our plant in Windsor, Canada.

1994

Up until this point, the walls of tank were made of one layer. The new co-extrusion blow process, which we developed, allows production with multiple layers, enabling the integration of a barrier layer. This contributes to lower vehicle emissions.

1996

Our company continues to expand and opens our first plant in China. In the following years, more Asian plants follow.

Another milestone occurs in the history of our company with our integration into the American multi-industry corporation Textron. In the same year, all of our production plants are QS 9000 certified.

2004

We begin the development of a tank unit for Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in Diesel vehicles in cooperation with Bosch. SCR systems help to reduce environmental pollutants like nitrogen oxide in exhaust emissions.

2005

We produce the first PZEV plastic fuel tank system that complies with the CARB (California Air Resources Board) guidelines.
We begin introduction of our corporate culture COMET on a global level as well as our COMET Business System (CBS) as an integral quality system.

2006

We start the development of our Next Generation Fuel System (NGFS®). All components of the tank system are integrated into the interior of the tank with the help of a new production process.

2007

We receive the first orders for mass production of NGFS® and SCR.

2011

We opened two new plants: in Silao, Mexico and in Craiova, Romania.

2012

Start of production of our first Hybrid Pressure Tank.

In 2012, we also opened a new plant in Chongquing, China and a Development and Validation Center in Guangzhou, China.