uvex – we write history

It‘s been a long haul from the company’s humble beginnings in a suburb of Fürth to its present status as a major international Group. uvex’s history has been characterized by difficult times, by long years of war and economic depression, but also by dynamic years of reconstruction and other highly successful periods. The oft-quoted maxim “think global, act local” has been our guiding principle and embodied our aims since long before words such as “globalization” and “global player” emerged as mainstream concepts.

until 1926

Philipp M. Winter, born in May 1898, attends Fürth High School in Bavaria. After the first world war he starts on his career as export businessman, concentrating on Spain and Portugal.

 

1926

After establishing a small distribution company in Barcelona, he returns to Fürth, Bavaria and founds the „“Optische-Industrie-Anstalt Philipp M. Winter“ which was a handcraft oriented establishment in Fürth/Poppenreuth.

1936

After difficult initial years, the facility became too small. The company therefore moves to Salzstrasse in Fürth, which becomes their base for a number of years.

1948

The heavy war and post-war years are managed with pioneer spirit, ingenuity and commitment.  It is the beginning of a targeted, market oriented business structure.

1960

Single business unit Philipp M. Winter converts to “Winter-Gesellschaft für Optik und Augenschutz” with shareholding by the family. Rainer Winter is joint Managing Director with Philipp M. Winter.

In 1959, Rainer Winter returned from a year’s sojourn in the United States, bringing with him one all-important insight: A consumer product needs a succinct brand – and good brand management. It so happened that, when he was appointed managing director in 1960, his first role was to assume responsibility for the company’s sunglasses range. Accordingly, he devised the “uvex” brand to spearhead the previously unnamed marketing program. It wasn’t long before this abbreviation of the quality indicator “ultraviolet excluded” was adopted as the visual representation of the company’s brand identity, and then the next natural step was to sell all sports and leisure products under the uvex brand.

1970 - 1980

The most successful years of growth commence.  Internationalisation and diversification are major thrust.

The big jump across the Atlantic to North America is successful.  uvex establishes manufacturing and distribution facilities in the USA and Canada.

1994

In order to establish a future oriented company, the GmbH is being restructured. uvex Winter Holding is established with responsibility for the whole group, and consists of the following newly established companies:

  • UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG
  • UVEX SPORTS GmbH & Co. KG
  • ALPINA INTERNATIONAL Sport + Optik Vertr. Ges.mbH
  • FILTRAL GmbH & Co. Vertr. KG

Heading up the Company:

  • UVEX WINTER HOLDING GmbH & Co. KG

2001

Celebreating 75th company anniversary.

With the motto “tradition and vision“ the company enters the new millenium with innovative strength and confidence.

2003

uvex Winter Holding receives honour of “TOP Employer“ in the medium-size employer category.

 

 

2005

Laservision GmbH, leader in laser protection technology, moves from Bamberg to Fürth.

uvex academy - first privately managed education institution in the area of personal protection equipment (PPE) – is founded.

Distribution company uvex Hong Kong is established; uvex safety China is formed for the establishment of a worldwide distribution network.

2006

laservision becomes world market leader in laser protection through acquisition of Trinity Technologies (laservision USA).

Asian market becoming increasingly important and uvex opens an office in China.

2007

Inauguration of extended Obernzell (BSA) facility, signifying an almost doubled manufacturing capacity for cycling helmets.

Production facility Lederdorn in the Bavarian Forest is being extended and German facility further expanded.

Extension of production unit of uvex sports Nyrsko doubles current manufacturing Area.

Formation of uvex safety Singapore strengthens uvex safety group’s
engagement in South-East-Asia.

To expand distribution facilities in Eastern Europe, uvex safety CZ and uvex safety SK are established.

 

Completion of rebuilding and modernisation of Safety Headquarters in Fürth.

uvex safety group received recognition from “Top 100“ for being one of the most innovative companies in Germany.

2008

Modernisation and Extension of the Fürth facilities.

Sell of Alpina optic and Filtral France.

2009

uvex sports starts with the new product range equestrian sports.

uvex gets the honour "brand of the century" for the intensive and consistent brand management of the product ski goggles.

 

The UVEX SPORTS GROUP GmbH & Co. KG is established.

2010

Reunion at Hardhöhe, uvex sports moves to Würzburger Str. 154, Fürth

Economic recovery after global fincancial crisis

Stefan Brück is announced spokesman of the uvex safety group

2011

Exit from the motorsports segment

 

2012

Werner Grau hands over management of the uvex sports group, after 33 years, to Alexander Selch and Falk Pewestorf .