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HISTORY

A tradition of perfection

With more than 100 years of success in the textile industry – the family-run firm Wilhelm Kneitz AG in Wirsberg has proven time and again that it can react flexibly to changes in the market and adapt to changing demands and requirements. A short journey through the company's history.

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1912


In August, Wilhelm Kneitz establishes a plush weaving mill, which is officially entered in the commercial register on December 1st. The quality textiles produced are exported mainly to England until the beginning of the First World War.

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1920


With the resumption of exports to England, the continued existence of the company is assured. In the period that follows, the production facilities are continuously expanded.

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1931


Due to the economic crisis and the associated devaluation of the pound, Wilhelm Kneitz KG increasingly concentrates on the German market and ends its involvement in England at the right moment.

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1939


During the Second World War, the plush goods factory is again confiscated for the production of materials essential to the war effort. Parts of the factory halls are used by a relocated Nuremberg motorcycle factory.

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1950


The plush goods factory resumes production and now operates under the name Wilhelm Kneitz AG. It is run jointly by the founder Wilhelm Kneitz and his son Herbert Kneitz. The first orders arrive from England again.

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1966


After the death of the company founder Wilhelm Kneitz, the company is managed by Herbert Kneitz from now on.

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1969


Founding of the now independent subsidiary Herbert Kneitz GesmbH in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria.

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1970


With the commissioning of the first Raschel velour machine, Wilhelm Kneitz AG recognises the signs of the times: It benefits from the increasing demand for furniture velour and, thanks to the high quality of its products, becomes the national market leader in this sector.

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1972


Wilhelm Kneitz II, the third generation of the family, joins the company. The ongoing success enables the continuous expansion of the production facilities.

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1985


After a fundamental modernisation of the machine park, Wilhelm Kneitz AG starts producing automotive textiles for AUDI. The company survives the textile crisis of the 1990s almost unscathed due to the development of this new market.

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1996


In addition to automotive fabrics, Wilhelm Kneitz AG engages in the development and production of technical textiles.

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2001


The company has risen to become a premium manufacturer for the automotive sector and, in addition to AUDI, now also supplies VW and BMW.

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2008


Willhelm Kneitz II's son Dr. Ralf-Herbert Kneitz and daughter Sibylla Naumann are the fourth generation of the family to join the supervisory board and continue the company's tradition. In the meantime, SEAT and SKODA also become customers.

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2010

The increasing production capacity utilisation for textiles in the automotive sector leads to the production of home textiles ceasing permanently.

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2011


With the installation of a 1,500 m² photovoltaic system for power self-supply on the factory roof, Kneitz sets another clear example for conscious interaction with the environment.

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2012


Wilhelm Kneitz AG celebrates its 100th anniversary.

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2015


After the sudden death of Wilhelm Kneitz II, his cousin Alfred Kneitz and daughter Sibylla Naumann take over the management of Wilhelm Kneitz AG.

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2019


Founding of the Wilhelm Kneitz Textile Group GmbH. With the acquisition of Wilhelm Kneitz Solutions in Textile GmbH, the Wilhelm Kneitz Textile Group broadens its position and expands its product range of technical textiles for the automotive industry to include glass and carbon fibre knitted fabrics for the construction industry as well as nets for securing loads.

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2021


Michael Ocker joins the executive board of Wilhelm Kneitz AG and is tasked with introducing and implementing the KNEITZ 2030 growth strategy. With this decision, the shareholders of the Kneitz Textile Group are making a clear commitment to the Wirsberg facility.

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