Freudenberg Group celebrates 175th anniversary

  • technologies for the future since 1849
  • Adaptability and innovation as success factors
  • A leader in about 40 markets with 52,000 employees and sales of almost €12 billion

Weinheim, February 9, 2024. A man signs a contract. He uses money borrowed from his wife to purchase a small leather factory, together with a partner. The man is Carl Johann Freudenberg and the date is February 9, 1849. At the time, he could not have imagined that his company would develop over the next 175 years into a global technology group, with 52,000 employees in about 60 countries and sales of almost €12 billion, despite crises, wars and economic challenges. The Freudenberg Group is active in about 40 market segments. For example, its products, solutions and services ensure that the air in rooms is cleaner, cars can drive and wounds heal more quickly. “175 years is a very special anniversary for the company, a reason to look back and reflect, but also to look forward,” says CEO Dr. Mohsen Sohi. “What makes the company so successful is a blend of adaptability and tradition, coupled with innovative power. The past 175 years represent an industrial history extending across three centuries, driven by values and responsible conduct.”

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz also congratulated the company: “Freudenberg is one of Germany’s ‘hidden champions’, with a very long tradition and considerable innovative power. Freudenberg is a company that has continued to develop and has reacted to change with determination. We need all these features in a country that faces tremendous change. Sincere congratulations!”
Notwithstanding its adaptability, Freudenberg’s entrepreneurial action is based on firm values. “Despite all the changes, we continue to work on the basis of the system of values that goes back to our founder Carl Johann Freudenberg,” says Martin Wentzler, Chairman of the Board of Partners of Freudenberg & Co. Kommanditgesellschaft and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Freudenberg SE. “The company takes priority over the interests of the family. This has always been true for the past 175 years, continues to apply today and is the basis for our action.” Up to the present day, the company is still owned by the family, in the form of about 370 Partners.

Ground-breaking innovations and international orientation
Innovations have been a recurrent theme in the history of the company – from chrome tanning and the development of the Simmerring to sophisticated and high-tech sealing and vibration control solutions, batteries and fuel cells, industrial textiles, filters, highly advanced cleaning products, chemical specialties and medical devices. High quality, reliability, partnership with customers and sound finances have been the cornerstones of Freudenberg’s activities over its 175-year history.
The international orientation of the Freudenberg Group is a further success factor. In 1849, Freudenberg already had business contacts with the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey. Nowadays, Freudenberg is a global group represented in about 60 countries and active throughout the world.

Success through transformation
Since its foundation, the Group has been successful thanks to transformation. In his business principles, Carl Johann
Freudenberg stated that openness to change was a key factor for entrepreneurial success. The company offers its customers today solutions and answers to the problems and questions of tomorrow, for example, helping to shape the energy transition with key components for fuel cells and electrolysis units needed for the production of green hydrogen. Freudenberg supplies these components to customers throughout the world: fuel cell manufacturers for a variety of applications including heavy duty trucks, forklifts, cruise ships and commercial vehicles.

About 52,000 employees from around 150 countries are working every day to ensure that the Freudenberg success story remains a story of innovation. They are working together on international projects in teams characterized by diversity. Working with foresight, they shape the future sustainability through efficient, increasingly digitalized processes, products that conserve resources and sophisticated services. Openness to change and entrepreneurial foresight have been part of Freudenberg’s DNA since the company was founded by Carl Johann Freudenberg in 1849.


Press contact

Michael Scheuer

Head of Corporate Communications

Freudenberg & Co. KG
Hoehnerweg 2-4
69469, Weinheim

+496201804094 Contact form

Martina Muschelknautz

External Communications & Media Relations

Freudenberg & Co. KG
Hoehnerweg 2-4
69469, Weinheim

+496201806637 Contact form