Bilstein is a German manufacturer of OEM and aftermarket automobile suspension components. The company was founded by August Bilstein in 1873. The brand produced metal window fittings in its initial years. It was in 1927 that Bilstein entered the automotive accessories market when Hans Bilstein, the son of August Bilstein, established an alliance with the Berlin-based lifting gear company, Levator-Hebezeug-Fabrik. Bilstein produced the first chrome-plated bumper for mass-produced cars in 1928. In the following year, the brand started manufacturing car jacks. Bilstein was the first to introduce usable side jacks in vehicles.
In 1957, Bilstein introduced the world's first mono-tube gas pressure shock absorber. It was employed in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. This innovation formed the basis for a wide range of high-performance shocks in the current vehicles. A mono-tube gas pressure shock absorber consists of a single tube and two pistons, the dividing and floating pistons. These pistons prevent the fluid and gas inside the tube from coming in contact with each other. These pistons move according to the variable conditions of the road to limit the vibrations in the car. The pressure of the gas in the shock is high, usually in the range of 260-360 psi.
In 1979, the brand started offering parts for the Mercedes-Benz G and S classes of cars. Bilstein began supplying the first adjustable original equipment systems for Ferrari, Porsche and Corvette vehicles in 1990. In the following two years, the brand expanded its product line to include Subaru and Mazda, as well. Between 1995 and 1998, Bilstein developed the ADS and ACS adjustable shock absorbers. In 2013, the brand started rolling out its line of DampTronic® sky dampers.
In 1988, Bilstein became a division of ThyssenKrupp Technologies AG and later, in 2005, Bilstein became a fully-owned subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp. ThyssenKrupp Bilstein includes two divisions: for original equipment and aftermarket parts. Their production facilities are located in various countries including the United States, Romania and China. In the United States, the production divisions are situated in Hamilton, Ohio and San Diego.
Bilstein entered motorsports in 1961. One of the highlights of the company’s contribution to motorsports came in 1989, when all the vehicles that participated in the German Touring Car Championship (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) were equipped with Bilstein parts.
Bilstein has been an integral player in the suspension industry. The brand is renowned for its innovative, high-quality suspension components. Bilstein has established 16 worldwide patents on the development of their gas pressure shock absorber design. Bilstein parts are designed with advance pattern technology that will keep your car running smoothly for a long time. Bilstein’s research and development center continues to work on introducing more innovations in suspension technologies. All Bilstein suspension components carry a warranty.
Bilstein’s outstanding contribution towards the automotive industry has earned it the “Best Brand Award” from the years 2006 to 2014, awarded by the German magazine, ‘auto motor und sport’.
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