A German manufacturing company transitioned from agricultural machinery to automobiles.
By Eric Bryan

Enthusiasts of classic European cars will have heard of the Goggomobil, a German microcar which saw marked success in the 1950s and ‘60s. Manufactured by Hans Glas GmbH of Dingolfing in Bavaria, the story of Glas traces back almost a century before the Goggomobil began to roll off the Glas assembly line.

Maurus Glas established a farm machinery factory in Freising in 1860. With a workforce of some 300 employees, it was the first such manufacturing plant in Bavaria. After traveling the world, Maurus’ son Andreas established an agricultural implement repair shop in Pilsting, not far from Dingolfing. Andreas soon started the manufacture of seed drills in 1905.

Andreas went into partnership with an investor named Lohr, forming the company Glas & Lohr in 1906. The firm moved its premises to Dingolfing in 1908. Lohr withdrew in 1911, and the company incorporated. Andreas’ son Hans, after spending a decade in America, returned to Bavaria and became manager of the firm.

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