KOSTAL – A family company with its own tradition

Images: a) founder Leopold Kostal b) Kurt Kostal with his son Helmut and father Leopold.

The KOSTAL Group is an independent, family company with its headquarters in Lüdenscheid, Germany. It was in 1912 that Leopold Kostal founded the parent firm in Lüdenscheid, to make sockets, plugs and switches for industrial and domestic use. In 1927 the company en- tered the automobile electrical business, with a direction indicator switch which the firm itself had developed. A few years later, in 1935, Kurt Kostal entered the company as the second generation of the family and, under the management of these two generations, working together, Leopold Kostal KG focussed its attention squarely on the design, development and manufacture of products for the automobile industry.

Leopold Kostal, the founder of the company, died in 1961 at the age of 77. Just over 10 years later, in 1972, his grandson, Dipl.-Kfm. Helmut Kostal joined the firm as the 3rd generation of the family. When Kurt Kostal died in 1981, his son Helmut carried on the company, making it more and more international in its activities, to meet demand. In 1995, he formed the company into four business divisions, under the umbrella of Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG, which have been transformed into legally independent companies in 2004.

The current customer base includes many famous companies, including all the world's leading vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers.

mage: company logo: a) 1912 – e) present.

    KOSTAL – Chronology
1912   Leopold Kostal founds the parent company, known informally as "LK".
    The firm's first products are sockets, plugs and switches for industrial and domestic use.
1927   The company enters the automobile electrical business, with a direction indicator switch which Leopold Kostal designed.
1935   Kurt Kostal joins the firm
to assist his father and is given general commercial power of attorney for the company.
1937   The company's silver jubilee (12 June 1937) is celebra-
ted by the work-force of around 240 people.
1953   The emphasis of the company is placed firmly
on the design, develop-
ment and manufacture of products for the automobile industry.
1961   Leopold Kostal dies at the age of 77.
1972   Dipl.-Kfm. Helmut Kostal joins the company.
1973   KOSTAL of Mexico is established.
1978   The electronics side of the business is developed.
    KOSTAL of Brazil is established
1981   Kurt Kostal dies at the
age of 73.
    Leopold Kostal KG is converted into a GmbH & Co. KG
    KOSTAL of USA and KOSTAL of Ireland are established
1987   The sensors side of the business is developed
    KOSTAL of Spain is established
1990   KOSTAL of UK is established.
1992   KOSTAL of Japan is established.
1993   KOSTAL of Czech
Republic is established.
1995   The 4 business divisions
are created : Automotive Electrical Systems; Industrial Electronics; Connectors; and Test Technology (SOMA GmbH)
    KOSTAL of China and KOSTAL of Italy are established.

KOSTAL of France is established.

2001   Mallow plant is established in Ireland.
2003   Zdice plant is established in Czech Republic.
2004   Business divisions Industrial Electronics Systems and Connectors are transformed into legally independent companies.
2006   KOSTAL is established in South Korea.
    Foundation of KOSTAL Solar Electric.
2007   KOSTAL is established in Ukraina.
2008   Foundation of the Joint Venture with NTTF in India.
2009   KOSTAL intensifies international market efforts in the field of solar applications
2012   KOSTAL celebrates its centenary: “100 years KOSTAL”