The company concentrated on large, sophisticated and luxurious cars, which became popular with the Austrian aristocracy and even the Habsburg royal family. Apart from luxury cars, Gräf & Stift also became an important manufacturer of buses as well as tram bodies.
One of the Gräf & Stift luxury limousines, a Double Phaeton (engine no. 287), was bought by Count Franz von Harrach on 15 December 1910. Harrach's car was fitted with a four-cylinder engine delivering 32 PS. In 1914 in Sarajevo, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife rode together with Harrach in this car, when Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke. The assassination provoked a series of diplomatic manouevres that quickly led to declarations of war and the onset of the First World War.
As the war broke out, Gräf & Stift started manufacturing trucks in order to meet wartime demand, which, together with buses and special vehicles, became the company's main business and enabled it to flourish in a rather difficult time. Manufacturing of passenger cars was resumed only in 1920, with a 2-litre intermediate-size model, Typ VK. The VK remained in production until 1928 (since 1926 as the modernized VK 2), but already in 1921 Gräf & Stift returned to making luxury cars, with a range of large six-cylinder models available through the 1920s and early 1930s. In 1930, the company presented its first eight-cylinder car, the sumptuous Typ Sp 8, in 1937 superseded by the Sp 9.
To acquire necessary volume to assure the profitability of carmaking business, Gräf & Stift also launched smaller models, badged G 35, G 36 and G 8, powered by a 4.6-litre eight-cylinder engine. To cater for lower segments of the market, the company entered an agreement with Citroën, assembling one of the French automaker's models as the MF 6 in 1935-36 (it had a 2.65-litre six-cylinder engine, with Gräf & Stift having had ceased the manufacturing of their own six-cylinders in 1935). Later, a joint-venture was started with Ford of Cologne, which provided for eight-cylinder Ford-licensed vehicles, badged Gräf-Ford V8, to be assembled by Gräf & Stift.
Neither of those ventures proved successful enough to assure the profitability of the passenger car business of Gräf & Stift, so the company decided to pull out of it. Its last own model was the rather modern C 12, fitted with a new twelve-cylinder engine, which was only made in very limited numbers in 1938, when the company ceased automobile production to concentrate on truck and bus manufacturing.
Gräf & Stift remained in the truck and bus manufacturing business after 1945, continuing as a family-owned enterprise, being run by members of the Gräf family. In 1971 the company merged with Österreichische Automobil Fabriks-AG (ÖAF) to form ÖAF-Gräf & Stift AG, which in turn was taken over by MAN AG the same year. MAN has later built a new plant on Gräf & Stift's original site in the Liesing district of Vienna and continues to be the biggest employer in the area.