When August Läpple founded his company back in 1919, his passion for producing sheet metal parts shone through. Over the decades, the spirit of our founder has inspired us and spurred us on to become a leading provider of sophisticated forming solutions in car body assembly for premium vehicles. We have never swerved from our corporate objective, which is to remain at the forefront of technological developments in this dynamic business.
Cost-effective solutions that are perfectly matched to the production situation of our customers – that’s our aim and that is why we relish getting our teeth stuck into new challenges every day. If it can be improved, we make it better. If it can be simplified, we make it easier. Today, we are already one of the leading suppliers of aluminium bodyshell components. This expertise in the area of lightweight construction provides us with a solid basis for developing the multi-material mix approach in a logical way to harness the benefits for our customers’ premium vehicles.
FOUNDING OF A WORKSHOP
On 1 April 1919, August Läpple (1885–1968) founded a small mechanical workshop in Weinsberg complete with a smithery. His first jobs were to repair bicycles and agricultural machinery, as well as manufacture cutterbars for mowing machines.
FIRST MAJOR ORDERS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
After growing its manufacturing portfolio, the company started making tools for various industries, notching up its first major orders for the automotive industry in 1928.
TAKEOVER BY THE SECOND GENERATION
August Läpple steps down from active leadership of the business. Subsequently, his sons Erich and Helmut Läpple, as well as his son-in-law Ernst Fleischmann, assume leadership of the company.
LÄPPLE BECOMES PORSCHE’S PRIMARY SUPPLIER
When the German car industry is deregulated following the country’s 1948 currency reform, the company’s order book grows significantly. The company becomes the primary supplier to Stuttgart-based carmaker Porsche, which remains a customer to this day.
RELOCATION TO THE NEW HEILBRONN PLANT
In a bid to overcome a chronic lack of space, which is only getting worse, LÄPPLE relocates all of its operations to Heilbronn in 1950. A new manufacturing plant is built on Austraße, where the headquarters of LÄPPLE AG remain to this day.
LÄPPLE BECOMES THE LARGEST INDEPENDENT TOOLMAKER IN GERMANY
By manufacturing large tools for use in bodywork construction, motorcycles, helmets and refrigerators, as well as a wide variety of small tools, the company grows massively in the 1950s, with the number of employees rising to more than 1300.
COMPANY FOUNDER AUGUST LÄPPLE DIES
Company founder August Läpple passes away on 6 November 1968 at the age of 83.
NEW PLANT ESTABLISHED IN TEUBLITZ
Three years after the closure of the Maxhütte-Haidhof steelworks, LÄPPLE acquires the 400,000 m² site for its sheet metal working division. Following conversion and renovation work, production begins at the new plant in May 1991.
FOUNDING OF LÄPPLE AG
At the end of 2000, the Läpple family steps down from active leadership of the business. The company becomes an Aktiengesellschaft – a public limited company. To this day, the family holds 100% of the shares.
HEILBRONN SITE EXTENDED
At the Heilbronn site, a new L segment tandem line is put into operation inside a brand-new production hall.
NEW COIL SYSTEM IN TEUBLITZ
The plant at the Teublitz site is extended and the company invests in a new coil system.
ADDITION TO THE HEILBRONN PLANT
In light of the company’s growing order book, a new body-in-white assembly area over 3500 m² in size is built at the Heilbronn plant.
FOUNDING OF LÄPPLE AUTOMOTIVE GMBH
LÄPPLE Blechverarbeitung GmbH becomes LÄPPLE AUTOMOTIVE GmbH.
CONSTRUCTION OF UNICELL 6
To ensure that it also remains competitive in the aftermarket, the company constructs unicell 6 at its Teublitz site.
ADDITION TO THE HEILBRONN PLANT
A new 2500-tonne transfer press, complete with ServoDirect technology, is built at the Heilbronn site. The press adds to the company’s XL press portfolio and makes it possible to manufacture complex structural components from steel and aluminium.
INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE
To accommodate its largest ever order, the company constructs a production hall with a floorspace of more than 5000 m². From 2018, this will be used to manufacture vehicle components on seven different production lines/cells featuring nearly 60 robots.