Hanomag (Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG) was a German producer of steam locomotives, tractors, trucks and military vehicles. Hanomag first achieved international fame by delivering a large number of steam locomotives to Romania and Bulgaria before WW I.
The company dates back to 1835 when Georg Egestorff founded a company called Eisen-Giesserei und Maschinenfabrik Hannover to build small steam engines
. They soon started making farm machinery
and in 1846 built their first railway locomotive
for the Hannover State Railways. By 1870 they had made 500 locomotives and in 1871 changed their name to Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG. Road vehicles
followed when in 1905 they received a contract for steam waggons
for the German army.
Petrol engined vehicles followed in 1912 with a line of farm tractors.
By the 1920s, the market for steam road vehicles was in terminal decline and Hanomag looked to cars as the future, particularly economy models. In 1925, they launched the Hanomag 2/10, a open two seater with a rear-mounted 500cc single-cylinder water cooled engine. Named Zweisitzer Limousine
(two-seat limousine) by the company, its rounded front and rear gained it the nickname Kommissbrot
(for its resemblance to a loaf of Army bread). Although made in large numbers, 15,775 in total, it did not make much money for the company and in the late 1920s the railway locomotive division was sold to Henschel & Son
A more conventional car, the 3/16PS, and the first diesel engined tractors, came in 1928, taking the company back into profit. Hanomag were badly hurt by the drop in trade in 1929 and built a large stock of unsold vehicles. Things improved in 1930 and the company got 14 per cent of the domestic car market, second place behind Opel, but in 1931 a new crisis came when the banks called a loan. The factory was mortgaged to Hannover City and the Vereinigte Stahlwerke trust and the company relaunched as Hanomag Automobil und Schlepperbau GmbH.
For 1932, a new small car, the 1.1 Litre, renamed the Garant in 1934, was announced and sold well allowing two shift working to be introduced and it was joined by the larger 1.5 litre Rekord (a name later used by Opel) in 1933 with independent front suspension. A diesel Rekord was shown at the 1936 Berlin Motor Show.
During World War Two
, the car plant made military vehicle engines, a military version of their heavy tractor renamed the SS-100, and half track troop carriers
. Post war production resumed making trailer units followed by tractors and in 1949 a 1.5 ton truck. Although prototypes were made, no cars were produced postwar. Rudolph Hiller, who had been president of Phänomen
trucks, joined the board and restructured the company by arranging for it to join the Rheinstahl
consortium in 1952.
Merger & Split
In 1964, Rheinstahl
took over Henschel & Son and in a reverse of history the company was merged with Hanomag.
The farm tractor operation was sold to Massey Ferguson and in 1969 the truck making division of Hanomag-Henschel went to Daimler Benz, leaving the Hannover works making earth-moving machinery for Massey Ferguson.
In 1989, the world's second largest construction machine manufacturer, Komatsu, bought a share of Hanomag AG and since 2002 Komatsu Hanomag GmbH has been a 100% daughter of the globally company.
In Hanover, the company is producing wheel loaders ranging from 54 to and since 2005 also has been producing wheeled excavators from 14 to 22 tons. Thanks to the European Technical Center (EUTC), these correspond to the latest state of technology. In Hanover, the company develops construction machines which meet varied requirements of customers all over Europe as well as for certain products also worldwide.
During the last fiscal year, the number of machines produced increased from 2500 to 3900. In the previous fiscal year, the turnover amounted to 356 million Euros, 62% over the year before. Komatsu Hanomag hired around 300 new employees during the last year; counting 268 temporary employees, around 1170 people were employed at Komatsu Hanomag at the end of last fiscal year. This is twice as many as at the end of the business year 2005, when around 650 people were employed here.