Blaupunkt company profile
Blaupunkt was part of the mobile communications division of the Robert Bosch group, a world leading manufacturer of industrial and automotive systems.
Blaupunkt's research, design and development headquarters are based in Hildesheim, Germany, where approx 3,000 staff are based.
Manufacture takes place either in Germany, or other plants in Portugal or Malaya where another 5,100 staff are employed
Current production is in excess of 4 million car radios every year.
Blaupunkt started life in 1920's Germany as the "Ideal" radio company of Berlin. Initially it produced only headphones. Quality control was paramount even in those days and each set of headphones that passed its final test was indicated by a blue circular sticker.
Before long customers simply began to ask for "Blue Dot" headphones - the symbol became the companies' trade mark, and in 1938 the company name.
This is where we get the name "Blaupunkt" - "Blue Spot" in German.
Bosch acquired the company over 60 years ago, and following the Second World War, the company made the move to Hildesheim
It was at this time, 1932, that Blaupunkt introduced the world's first car radio: the AS5. This long, medium and short wave monster was about the size of a modern day microwave oven. Because of its bulk it could not be mounted within reach of the driver and had to be operated by a remote control on the steering wheel. Because car radio aerials were not yet developed, wires had to be run over the roof and along the running boards to get a signal. The cost in those days was 465 Reich marks; about one third the price of a small car.
In 1959, the one millionth car radio rolled off the production line. Each valve-based radio consisted of 1,693 separate parts.
In 1969 Blaupunkt took advantage of the emerging FM radio system to introduce the world's first stereo car radio. A few years later the Phillips Compact Cassette was incorporated into sets.
In the late 1970's it was realised that the car radio could contribute toward road safety, and Blaupunkt developed the ARI traffic news detector which has evolved into the current Radio Data System (RDS) of traffic and related information.
The 1980's saw the first microprocessor digitally tuned radio cassette and in 1983 the first car radio equipped with EON station identification was released.
The first CD player incorporated into a dashboard mounted radio was introduced in 1988..
With increasingly attractive car radio systems, theft became a major problem. In 1990 the KeyCard smart card owner authorisation system was a big step forward in crime deterrence. This feature was the first recorded use of smart card technology in the automotive field.
In 2002, the Woodstock DAB52 receiver was launched. This is the world's first combined MP3 / CD / DAB receiver housed within a standard DIN sized enclosure.
This ground-breaking unit was enhanced in 2003 with the DAB53 and in 2004 the DAB54 models that added the option of recording DAB broadcasts directly onto a MMC / SD memory card