Foresight, courage and a sense of community

Our unique company history.

From cigar maker to an internationally sought-after and innovate supplier to the car industry – the story of the Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe is a success story indeed. A story about foresight, courage and a sense of community that unites the company’s family and their employees. 

Franz Schneider Senior laid the foundation for this success when he started to process tobacco in his factory established in 1927. About one decade later, in 1936, he decided to create a second income stream for his flourishing company. He got into plastics production by starting to process a new material: Bakelite. That decision is testimony to his astute business instincts and foresight since very soon this new route proved to be right on the money.  

Entering the world of cars.

With Dr. Franz Schneider joining the company, the focus moved to processing plastics exclusively from then on. The common goal: to make a name for the company as the supplier for the burgeoning car industry. When the first orders came in 1956, the family company profited from its experience in the tobacco business. Dr. Schneider started to produce an ashtray to be integrated into the dashboard for the carmakers Daimler and Ford.

In the coming decades, the automotive supplier saw success beyond its wildest dreams, propelled by the pioneering spirit of Dr. Schneider. In 1959, the company and its 40 employees moved from Kronach Rosenau to the then just finished main plant in Kronach-Neuses from where to this day all global activities have been controlled. 

Going international.

With the increasing importance of plastic components in the car industry, Dr. Schneider lived through a dynamic boom period that not only resulted in two branch plants being opened in Nordhalben and Tschirn but, in 1973, to the first international subsidiary in Valencia, Spain.  

In the 1990s, the Group opened two sites in Poland that were merged to became what is now known as the Radomierz plant. Soon after, first contacts were established in the USA and in Slovakia as well. Even in Asia the Group started to look for a suitable site and local partners right after the turn of the millennium.

A crisis that left us even stronger.

The global economic crisis of 2008/2009, that had hit the car industry particularly hard, stopped Dr. Schneider’s drive for expansion only temporarily. The group, now in the capable hands of the third generation of Schneiders, went into tried-and-true crisis mode: The family showed grit and the employees loyalty to the company; and so the period of a slight business downturn was used to modernize organizational structures and technologies and develop new products. And so, in 2010 with regained strength, the Group shifted into high gear again and within a very short time became the global market leader for climate control components and window frame trims. 

Actively shaping the future.

Today the Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe is known all over the world for innovative concepts for the future, in particular in the climate control of the car’s interior and intelligent surface storage  systems. Here, the three strong suits of the automotive supplier are combined: high quality design surfaces, intelligent and smart function controls and a focus on the practical needs of the driver. This is how Dr. Schneider turned the functional interior of a car into an individualized and harmoniously fine-tuned living space. And makes the car the best place in the world.  


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