Recently the „Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG“ was one of the biggest independent vehicle and engineering companies of Europe. On the one hand its roots lays in two companies founded in Augsburg and Nürnberg. In 1898 they assumed to the „Vereinigte Maschinenfabrik Augsburg und Maschinengesellschaft Nürnberg“. Here the first construction plans for a motor plough with uni-axial pull aggregation was made in 1916. But because of the First World War the development got interrupted.
The other root lays in Ruhr, where the mine St. Antony was founded in 1758. After the fusion with other neighbouring smelteries it became the „Gutehoffnungshütte Aktienverein für Bergbau und Hüttenbetrieb (GHH)“ in 1873.
In 1921 the GHH at least assumed the majority of the financially stricken MAN. In the same year the first carrying plough was developed. Two years later the first small tractor with 20 hp was offered. In 1924 a compressionless diesel engine with direct fuel injection was invented. After that the diesel lorry was launched and the building of tractors was stopped again. In 1938 the first haulier with an economical 4 -cylinders-diesel engine was built, which had been approved in the lorry construction.
After the Second World War the GHH had to dispense the mining sector, but the MAN was basically preserved and in spite of the war damages the production started again. In the tractor building the optional available all-wheel drive gained much popularity. The models were used for the working on light ground and in the forestry. In 1952 S.Meurer invented the middle ball combustion processing, which caused a better combustion, a lower fuel consumption and more engine smoothness. In 1961 modular construction system was launched. In the 1960s GHH concentrated more on the machine building. That caused the amalgamation of the MAN tractor production with Porsche-Diesel. But Porsche quited this sector one year later and Renault adopted the spare parts service. All together MAN had built over 50.000 tractors till 1963.
Due to the second oil crisis in 1979/80 the company was restructured from the GHH into the MAN AG. The main office moved from Oberhausen to Munich. In the following years differnt companies got assumed and unprofitable company parts were sold. In 2009 MAN was registered as European incorporated company. In 2013 the independence of the MAN SE ended and the complete company became part of the Volkswagen concern.
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