The Evolution of Atlas Copco
1873-1890: Founding of a company
AB Atlas was founded in 1873 with the mission to manufacture and sell railway equipment. At the time, it was the largest manufacturing company in Sweden. In addition to railroad equipment, AB Atlas manufactured steam engines and fixed steel constructions for bridges, buildings, and church steeples.
1891-1916: Restructuring years
With new management, Nya Atlas progressed more favorably and new, profitable business areas were sought. In addition to steam locomotives, steam engines and machine tools were important elements on the New Atlas production line.
1917-1949: Merger and international expansion
In 1898, Marcus Wallenberg acquired the Swedish rights to produce Rudolf Diesel's patented engine. A new company was founded for this: AB Diesels Motorer. In 1917, AB Atlas merged with AB Diesel Motorer, becoming AB Atlas Diesel, with the mission to refine the diesel engine.
1950-1969: Focus on design and development
Atlas was now completely focused on compressed air, and the journey to worldwide leadership in this area began. In 1956, this was manifested by changing the company's name to Atlas Copco. "Copco" stands for Compagnie Pneumatique Commerciale, from a Belgian subsidiary. Atlas Copco delivered its first screw compressor in 1954.
1970-1983: Growth through acquisitions
When Tom Wachtmeister became President and CEO of Atlas Copco in 1975, he initiated a process of structural changes and rationalizations. A number of strategic company acquisitions paved the way for a broader product range and enlarged markets.
1984-1996: A multi-brand company
Strategic acquisitions strengthened the position of Atlas Copco's Industrial Technique (formerly Tools) business in important markets. According to a conscious multi-brand strategy, the values of the new brands were preserved.
1997-2002: Expanding the scope
As an international manufacturer with vast logistic operations, Atlas Copco clearly realized the enormous possibilities of the Internet. Internet technologies were integrated within all business areas to support processes related to people, products and customers.
2002-2008: Focus on profitable growth
The Group concentrates on strengthening its position within segments where it is already strong and has core competence. During this period, growth and profitability are very strong. A number of acquisitions and divestments are carried out.
2008-...: Adapting to change
An economic crisis sweeps the world. Ronnie Leten takes over as CEO.