When August Bilstein laid the foundations for the innovation incubator BILSTEIN in Altenvoerde in Germany's Westphalia region in 1873, nobody had any idea of the crucial influence the company's products would one day have on the driving comfort and safety of cars. Instead it was metal window fittings - sold under the catchy name of AUBI, an abbreviation of August Bilstein - that soon made the company famous far beyond the boundaries of Bilstein's local region and even abroad. In 1954, BILSTEIN was the first to realise the potential offered by an idea of Prof. Bourcier de Carbon, a French researcher in the field of vibrations. The aim was to eliminate the physical disadvantages of the conventional telescopic shock absorbers, whilst at the same time making the dampers lighter and able to be fitted in any position. Enormous effort went into development, accompanied by substantial investment in the necessary production facilities, in order to achieve this ambitious target. And it paid off. The introduction of the first mono-tube gas pressure shock absorber in a standard production Mercedes-Benz vehicle in 1957 by what was at the time the 'Fittings and car jack manufacturer BILSTEIN' (Beschlag- und Wagenheber-Hersteller BILSTEIN) is still today considered a major contribution to active driving safety. To this day, the demands of its customers in the automotive and tuning industries, combined with its commitment to motor sports, are what drive development and innovation at BILSTEIN. All AMG Mercedes in the DTM and over half of the teams in the 24 hour race on the Nurburgring approach the starting line with BILSTEIN accessories. The partnership and co-operation within the group will enable the company to continue to inspire with innovations in the traditional BILSTEIN way.