Foundation Companies

Thanks to the annual dividends from ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and Zeppelin GmbH, the Zeppelin-Stiftung ensures a better quality of life every day in a wide variety of areas.

Logo ZF Friedrichshafen AG

ZF is a leading global technology group in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology.

1915: Foundation of Zahnradfabrik GmbH based in Friedrichshafen by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH. The object of the company was the production of gears and transmissions for aircraft, motor vehicles and motor boats.

1921: Transformation into Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen as a stock corporation.

1946: Reconstruction of the destroyed plant in Friedrichshafen, foundation of Zahnradfabrik Passau GmbH, Passau.

2015: Takeover of the US company TRW; ZF Friedrichshafen AG grows to almost double its size.

Today, ZF is one of the world's largest automotive suppliers.

93.8 percent of the shareholders are the Zeppelin-Stiftung and 6.2 percent are Dr. Jürgen und Irmgard Ulderup Stiftung.

Logo Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH

The foundation of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin in 1908 laid the foundation for the history of today's Zeppelin Group with its many internationally active industrial companies.

When Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin's fourth airship was burned in 1908, a wave of solidarity with the visionary pioneer swept through the country.

On September 8, 1908, thanks to spontaneous donations, he was able to found Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and continue his work. The Count contributed Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and other donations to the Zeppelin-Stiftung in the same year.

The destruction of the group by the Allies after the Second World War required a complete restructuring. Since then, Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH has operated as a pure asset management and investment company.

Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH holds the widely ramified companies of the Zeppelin Group together through its investments. These investments include:

  • Zeppelin GmbH
  • Zeppelin Wohlfahrt GmbH
  • Zeppelin Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH
  • Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co. KG
  • Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei GmbH
  • Zeppelin-Haus am Bodensee GmbH

Logo Zeppelin GmbH

The Zeppelin Group is a company with a long tradition. It all began with Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin and his vision of a steerable airship. A vision that laid the foundation stone for the history of the Zeppelin Group with the rise of the first airship LZ 1 on July 2, 1900 and the founding of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH in 1908.

In 1947, the Allied military administration ordered the smashing and compulsory liquidation of the aviation company. The enormous know-how acquired in the production of the airships could not be lost. Masterpieces were achieved in aluminium processing in particular. For this reason, Metallwerke Friedrichshafen GmbH was founded in 1950 and a new beginning was dared with the production of lightweight constructions and large containers for the chemical industry.

In 1995, the company was renamed Zeppelin GmbH and the group was restructured in industry and trade.

Zeppelin GmbH is the holding company of the group, with legal domicile in Friedrichshafen and headquarters in Garching near Munich.

After thorough examination and consultation, the local council decided in December 2015 to establish the Zeppelin-Stiftung Ferdinand gGmbH. It was entered in the commercial register in 2016.

Since 2008, the city administration, foundation board and local council have been intensively engaged in the question: how can the assets of the Zeppelin-Stiftung continue to be invested securely, stably and at the same time on an even broader basis than before?

Following a change in tax law, since January 1, 2014, charitable companies have had the option of using the funds remaining after their statutory purposes have been fulfilled to set up a downstream non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH).

The establishment of the Zeppelin-Stiftung Ferdinand gGmbH, with its headquarter in Friedrichshafen, was specifically aimed at asset diversification and the sustainable protection and development of the foundation's assets. In addition, the company, like the Zeppelin-Stiftung itself, pursues exclusively charitable and benevolent purposes within the meaning of the German Tax Code. All the purposes of the charitable Zeppelin-Stiftung Ferdinand gGmbH are also reflected in the statutes of the Zeppelin-Stiftung.