Tag Archive: steyr

Josef Werndl (1831 – 1889) was an Austrian gunsmith and he took over his father’s business of making small arms and weapons. In 1864 he, along with his brother Franz Werndl , formed Josef Und Franz Werndl & Company to manufacture rifles and small arms for the Austrian Army. The Werndl rifle of 1867 was famous for its function and quality.

In 1894, they expanded in to manufacture of bicycles. The bicycles were sold under the “Steyr” brand name, named after the Austrian town where they were located.

In 1915 , Josef Und Franz Werndl & Co expanded in to development and manufacture of automobiles. They employed the famous automotive engineer  Hans Ledwinka, who quit Nesselsdorfer (Tatra) to join them in designing a new car. The first car , Type II 12/40 HP was launched in 1920. In 1924 , the company was renamed as Steyr-Werke AG.

 A 1925 Steyr Type V car –

Conflict with Steyr management on small car Vs luxury car debate made Hans Ledwinka to quit and rejoin Nesselsdorfer, now Tatra.

In 1929 , Steyr recruited Ferdinand Porsche from DaimlerBenz. However, recession made survival difficult and the company was in trouble. This made Porsche to leave and create his own company as we know today.

In 1934, Steyr merged with Austro-DaimlerPuchwerke to form Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Steyr-Daimler-Puch was one of the largest automobile groups and were present in many fields – trucks, tractors, automobiles, motorcycles and mopeds.

Some of the most famous cars were the 1936 Steyr 50 , commonly known as “Baby” Steyr and 1939 Steyr 220

During the war , Steyr was involved in military production and,  being under Third Reich, used slaves from concentration camps as labour.

In 1967 , they introduced a versatile 4×4 vehicle named Haflinger

Steyr was also manufacturing automobiles under license from Opel, FIAT and Mercedes Benz.

A Mercedes-Benz G Wagon named Puch G

Starting early 1990s , Steyr-Daimler-Puch started selling the individual business of Trucks, Buses, Mopeds , Tractors to various companies and was concentrating on automobile business only

In 1998 , Magna International took majority shares in Steyr-Daimler-Puch and by 2001 it was fully acquired by Magna , renamed as Magna Steyr. Magna Steyr , now deals with Vehicle Engineering and contract manufacturing.

Steyr Logo –


In 1890 , Josef Eduard Bierenz was appointed by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft as the Austrian retailer of Daimler engines and later automobiles. In 1899 , Josef Eduard Bierenz along with his friend Eduard Fischer (in pic) formed the company. Osterreichische Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft Bierenz, Fischer & Co (Austrian Daimler Motors Partnership Company Bierenz, Fischer & Co)

One of the earliest Austro-Daimler truck of 1901, used for transporting ice –

A 1901 Austro-Daimler car –

In 1902, Paul Daimler , Son of Gottileb Daimler joined Austro-Daimler as the Engineering Director and was involved in designing and manufacture of new cars and engines. In 1905, he developed the world’s first armored 4×4 car for the Austrian Army.


In 1905, Paul Daimler left for the parent company – Daimler of Germany. His position as taken by the legendary Ferdinand Porsche who joined from Lohner. Ferdinand Porsche concentrated on racing as , according to him, racing is the best way to build reliability as well as brand.

In 1906 the company was renamed as Austro-Daimler and in 1910, Austro-Daimler became independent as DMG sold all its shares.

Porsche concentrated on racing and participated in the Prinz Heinrich Grand Prix, winning the top three positions with a Austro-Daimler race car.

The Prince Henry Race car

A 1932 , Austro Daimler ADR


In 1928 , amid financial troubles, Austro-Daimler was merged with Puch and named Austro-Daimler-Puchwerke.

In 1934, Austro-Daimler-Puchwerke was taken over by Steyr and became Steyr-Daimler-Puch and the Austro-Daimler brand slowly disappeared.

The Austro-Daimler Logos –

Johann Puch (1862 – 1914) was an inventor and mechanic from Austria. He moved to Graz and in 1891 started manufacturing bicycles.  In 1898 he founded and named his company Erste Steiemarkische Fahrrad Fabriks AG , meaning “First Styrian Bicycle Co.” Puch bicycles were sold across Europe.

Puch was experimenting with Automobiles and expanded in to Motorcycle in 1901 and cars by 1904. One of the earliest cars was a 1900 Puch Voiturette

Image result for 1900 Puch Voiturette -

A 1919 Puch Alpenwagen

During the war, Puch was manufacturing military vehicles and cars for the Austro-Hungarian army and the Royal family. After the war, Puch was not in good financial health and in 1923 bankers had sent one Engineer Giovanni Marcellino to the Puch factory to wind up its operations. Marcellino , instead of winding up the operations , settled down and started work on improving a split-single cylinder, 2-stroke engine design. Marcellino made a very successful  design of this Split-single cylinder engine and went on to win the German grand prix with a supercharged , split-single Puch.

By 1928 , Puch merged with Austro-Daimler and was renamed as Austro-Daimler-Puchwerke.  However , another merger in 1934 with Steyr AG created the Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG as we know today.

Cars, Trucks and motor cycles were continued to be manufactured under Puch and Steyr-Puch names.

One of the famous motorcycle was the Puch 250 SGS fitted with split-single cylinder , 2-stroke engine released in 1953. These motorcycles were exported to USA and sold as “twingle“. The SGS 250 production continued till 1970.

Puch also manufactured cars and one the well known small car was the Steyr-Puch 500 of 1957 –

Building on the military vehicle experience of the world wars, Puch was manufacturing many types of military and off-road vehicles . The most famous and the well known vehicle across the world was the Steyr-Puch Pinzguarer . This vehicle was in production from 1970 till the late 90s.

Puch was most famous for its small 2-wheeler range – mopeds. The most famous was the Puch Maxi launched in 1970. Close to 2 million of these units were sold across the world from 1970 onward.

In India , the Puch mopeds were manufactured by Hero Motors as Hero Puch from 1988 till 2003.

In 1987 , the motorcycle division of Steyr-Daimler-Puch was sold to Piaggio.

The Puch and the Steyr-Puch logos –