VDO Automotive

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legal form brand
founding 1929
resolution 2008
Seat Regensburg , Germany (until 2001 Frankfurt am Main )
Number of employees 53,000 (September 30, 2006)
sales € 10.0 billion (2006)
Branch Automotive electronics and automotive mechatronics
Website www.vdo.de

VDO is a brand for automotive electronics and mechatronics from the global automotive supplier Continental AG . Until 2008 it was run as a separate company under the name VDO Automotive AG .



DEUTA speedometer of a historic DAAG - Post bus from 1925

The company VDO (United DEUTA - OTA) was created in 1929 through the merger of DEUTA (Deutsche Tachometer -Werke GmbH) with OTA Apparate GmbH (Offenbacher Tachometer-Werke). The automobile part of Deuta later became VDO Adolf Schindling Tachometerwerke GmbH, which in turn became VDO Adolf Schindling AG. In 1978 the companies IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre (mechanical wristwatches ) were bought.

The sole heiress of Adolf Schindling , Liselott Linsenhoff , sold the entire property to Mannesmann in 1991 . The divisions VDO Luftfahrt (today: Diehl Aerospace), VDO Marine, VDO Verkehrsleittechnik (today: Designa) and VDO Measurement and Control Technology (today: Tecsis) had already been sold. As a result, Mannesmann Kienzle GmbH (tachographs and taximeters) was integrated into Mannesmann VDO AG. In 1998 this was followed by the acquisition of the Philips division Philips Car Communications (audio and car navigation). In 1999 the VDO bicycle computer division was sold to Cycle Parts GmbH in Rohrbach / Landau. This continues to offer bike and heart rate computers under the VDO brand.

In 2001 Vodafone took over Mannesmann AG, kept its telecommunications shares and initially intended to list the remaining business areas, including VDO, as an independent AG under the name ATECS (“Advanced Technologies”). However, this did not materialize because Siemens AG took over these areas together with Robert Bosch GmbH . For competitive reasons, Siemens took over VDO alone, while Bosch took over the Rexroth division . The merger with Siemens Automotive AG created a leading supplier of automotive electronics and mechatronics.

Siemens automotive technology

Siemens AG founded the independent automotive technology division in 1989, in 2000 the automotive technology division was spun off from Siemens AG as Siemens Automotive AG and in 2001 merged with VDO to form Siemens VDO Automotive AG.

Siemens VDO Automotive (AG)

In March 2006, Siemens VDO Automotive AG was legally integrated into Siemens AG. The company and product brands "Siemens VDO" and "VDO Dayton" were continued after the company was integrated. Within Siemens AG, the area was called "Siemens VDO Automotive".

On January 25, 2007, Siemens announced its intention to list its Siemens VDO Automotive division on the stock exchange, with the majority of the shares and industrial management remaining with Siemens. On June 1, 2007, the division was spun off under the old name as "Siemens VDO Automotive AG".

On July 25, 2007, the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG decided to sell Siemens VDO Automotive AG to Continental AG for € 11.4 billion . The former Siemens VDO Automotive AG has been fully owned by Continental AG since December 5, 2007.

VDO Automotive AG

After Continental acquired Siemens VDO Automotive AG, the company was entered in the commercial register on December 10, 2007 under the name VDO Automotive AG .

On April 1, 2008, the electric motor division was sold to the Brose group of companies. This includes window regulator motors and drives for ABS / ESP, heating / ventilation (HVAC), engine cooling, electric steering, sunroofs, double clutches (DCT) and parking brakes.

Continental Automotive GmbH

On June 2, 2008, VDO Automotive AG merged into Continental Automotive GmbH . In November 2008, Continental announced that it would be giving up the VDO Dayton brand and its end customer business at the end of the year. The production and sale of portable and retrofittable navigation devices, as well as car radios and DVD players was discontinued. However, the OEM business with vehicle manufacturers such as VW and BMW will continue with navigation and multimedia solutions.


Siemens VDO was divided into four business areas, each of which contained several areas. These areas were:

Chassis & Safety

  • Safety & Chassis Electronics
  • Motor Drives

Interior electronics & infotainment

  • Infotainment Solutions
  • Radio navigation
  • Information Systems Passenger Cars
  • Interior controls


  • Engine Actuators, Air and Emissions Management
  • Diesel Systems
  • Electronics & Drivetrain
  • Fuel supply systems
  • Gasoline Systems
  • Sensors

Commercial Vehicles

After being integrated into the Continental Corporation, these business areas will be incorporated into the newly created Powertrain, Interior and Chassis & Safety divisions.


VDO speedometer in a BMW 2002 ti Alpina

Continental Automotive GmbH has the following products, among others:

Chassis & Safety

Interior & infotainment


  • Systems and components for injection systems in gasoline engines
  • Piezo Common Rail Systems (PCR)
  • Piezo pump nozzle injection systems (PPD)
  • Exhaust gas control systems
  • Tank ventilation systems
  • Fuel delivery units (modules made up of fuel pumps , supply sensors, pressure regulators and filters)
  • Electronic transmission control
  • Hybrid solutions

Service & Special solutions


  • Piezo Common Rail System (German Future Prize 2005)
  • Colored head-up display (in the Audi A6 and Audi A7 )
  • Electronic wedge brake via brake-by-wire
  • Participated in the " ALLFA -Ticket" of the research project " intermobil " (electronic ticket in the Dresden area )
  • MAPPS (Magnetic Passive Position Sensor) is a fully encapsulated rotary resistor, which essentially consists of 52 flexible metal tongues that are arranged next to each other like the keys on a piano. The contacts are closed from the outside via a movable magnet through the enclosure. The rotational resistance is subject to practically no mechanical or chemical wear. Use preferably for level indicators.
  • Siemens VDO is one of the manufacturers of the on-board unit (OBU) for truck tolls in Germany .


Continental Automotive in Regensburg

Continental Automotive is represented at around 130 locations worldwide.

Important locations in Germany are, for example:


Regensburg (headquarters), Schwalbach (development, administration), Frankfurt am Main , Villingen-Schwenningen , Karben (administration, development and production), Babenhausen (development, production), Wetzlar (development), Bebra , Limbach-Oberfrohna and Dortmund .

Continental Automotive also has locations in Austria , Switzerland , the Czech Republic , Romania , USA , Mexico , Brazil , China , Japan , Korea , Singapore , Malaysia , Thailand , India and Australia .

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