Kapsch celebrates its 130th company anniversary
- A company through the ages
Vienna, October 31, 2022 – Kapsch celebrates its 130th company anniversary at the end of October. The technology company, now in its fourth generation of family management, can look back on a long and eventful history.
Innovative from the Go
The history of Kapsch began on October 31, 1892 in Schottenfeldgasse in Vienna's seventh district, where the great-great-grandfather of the current CEO Georg Kapsch, Johann Kapsch, opened a precision mechanics workshop with 18 employees.
From the very beginning, the company focuses on innovation and development – with success. The decision to build telephones and telegraphs turns out to be spot on, with orders coming in from all parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and even from other countries.
"The company had the foresight at the time to recognize telephony as an emerging technology on the one hand, and to position itself successfully in this rapidly growing market on the other," explains Georg Kapsch, CEO of Kapsch TrafficCom. For example, the company developed its first "mobile" telephone, which used a long cable and a carrying ring to enable the device to be moved around the room during the call.
"On the other hand, a little later, in the 1920s, radio technology was used as a second mainstay. So even then, you could see that the company was characterized by innovation and progress," says Georg Kapsch.
The company's entry into the radio business is one of the biggest coups in its history. In the following years, Kapsch establishes itself as one of the leading technical providers on the market, and despite the difficult economic situation, revenues and the number of employees increase.
Years of Growth
A challenging period in the late 1960s leads to a stronger focus on telecommunications; radio, television and battery production are discontinued in the mid-1980s, and instead the company focuses early on digitization and the development of fixed-line and communications networks.
"I can well remember how there was a spirit of optimism in the company at that time," reports Georg Kapsch. "Among other things, our own printed circuit board production was installed in 1979. Today, production is highly automated and largely supplies products for toll and traffic management applications."
With the arrival of Georg Kapsch in 1982 and his appointment to the Executive Board in 1992, the company opens a new chapter – coinciding with its 100th anniversary. Several major international projects and the establishment of subsidiaries in multiple countries mark the step towards becoming a modern, global and self-confident industrial company that exceeds the three-billion-ATS sales mark.
The rapid technological developments in the communications industry prompt Kapsch to focus fully on the business areas of public networks, private networks and traffic control systems, and the 1990s also bring record sales and well-filled order books.
New Millennium, New Challenges
It was not until the IT crisis of the 2000s and the completion of the digitalization of the Austrian telecommunications network that the company's soaring success was briefly halted, leading to the regrouping into Kapsch TrafficCom, CarrierCom and BusinessCom under the parent company Kapsch Group. The order for the truck toll in Austria in June 2002 proves to be a catalyst. By 2007, Kapsch TrafficCom has risen to become the global market leader in the field of tolling systems and is setting up systems all over the world, for example in Australia, North and Latin America and some European countries.
In the following years, Kapsch TrafficCom successfully positions itself as a global provider of tolling and traffic management systems. In 2015, the cross-border traffic management project "CHARM" is won, a major project commissioned by the English and Dutch road authorities. In 2016, Kapsch TrafficCom acquires the Transportation division of Schneider Electric on the Iberian Peninsula, thereby strengthening its position in the Intelligent Transportation Systems segment.
At the beginning of the 2020s, however, Kapsch TrafficCom is once again faced with a major task – the successful activities and projects on all continents are contrasted with societal and economic crises. The unforeseeable consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic, the component crisis and the geopolitical situation are affecting the company's social and economic environment.
CEO Georg Kapsch, who represents the fourth generation of the Kapsch family to lead the traditional company, concludes: "The past 13 decades have been marked by successes and crises, by huge social, political and economic upheavals, which have had a significant impact on both the company and all its employees. Through these turbulent times, the company has always focused on long-term and sustainable growth. For us, the anniversary therefore brings a renewed awareness of the values that have accompanied us since 1892 – innovation, quality, cohesion and, last but not least, the awareness that we are responsible not only for the current generation, but also for future generations of society and our employees."
Kapsch TrafficCom is a globally renowned provider of transportation solutions for sustainable mobility with successful projects in more than 50 countries. Innovative solutions in the application fields of tolling, tolling services, traffic management and demand management contribute to a healthy world without congestion.
With one-stop-shop-solutions, the company covers the entire value chain of customers, from components to design and implementation to the operation of systems.
Kapsch TrafficCom, headquartered in Vienna, has subsidiaries and branches in more than 25 countries and is listed in the Prime Market segment of the Vienna Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: KTCG). In its 2021/22 financial year, 4,220 employees generated revenues of about EUR 520 million.