During World War II, all buildings and plants of the former Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH in Friedrichshafen were nearly completely destroyed. In addition, the allied forces prohibited any production.
In 1950, however, the Zeppelin Foundation succeeded in founding “Metallwerk Friedrichshafen” as a successor company to the Zeppelin-Luftschiffbau. A large part of the workforce had worked for companies of the Zeppelin realm before and brought a lot of technical expertise to the job. This was the starting point for the production of aluminum containers and light metal constructions – the foundation of the Zeppelin Group in its current form was laid. Shortly afterwards, Metallwerk Friedrichshafen took over maintenance work for military vehicles of the French allied forces.
The technical expertise, experience in maintaining vehicles and the high quality standards the employees were used to apply were important factors for the US-American construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar to entrust Zeppelin with the dealership and service of construction machinery and equipment in Western Germany in 1954.
In 1960, Metallwerk Friedrichshafen aquired Fahrzeuginstandsetzung Friedrichshafen GmbH (FIF) which had already been founded in 1950. In the following year, in 1961, the company was renamed into Zeppelin-Metallwerke GmbH. The name was kept until 1995 when the company – which had grown substantially, in the meantime – was re-organized in the form of a holding and renamed “Zeppelin GmbH” at the same time.
1957: A car that looks like a tuxedo – hello Gaylord Gladiator!