The two companies AB Nya Atlas and AB Diesels Motorer had the same owners, and this is one of the reasons they merged in 1917. The merged company Atlas Diesel had two main product areas – diesel engines and compressed air products.
Studies at the beginning of the 1930s showed losses for engine operations, while pneumatic operations were running at a 50-percent profit, and that this development would likely continue. Company management believed however, that design work in the diesel area would bear fruit.
It was not until the mid-1930s that the market recovered and demand for the products grew. Between 1934 and 1939, total sales increased from just over SEK 6 million to nearly SEK 16 million. Compressed air operations were the most expansive, while the diesel engines were the most advanced products, thanks to cost-intensive development.
Gunnar Jacobsson left the president post after more than 30 years of service. The board of directors now preferred someone with a strong background in business as the president – Marcus Wallenberg's close friend Walter Wehtje. Conflicts arose between Wehtje and vice president Herman Pyk, who in contrast to Wehtje, saw diesel as the company's primary product.
During the Second World War, Atlas Diesel succeeded in achieving two goals: preservation of the high level of activity, and through product development and organizational structuring, preparation for a sales breakthrough at the end of the war.
Together with Sandvikens Jernverk, during the war years Atlas Diesel had developed a new technological concept – The Swedish Method – which after the war could begin to be marketed and sold. This concept – with the cornerstones constituted by lightweight rock drills and drill bits with carbide tips – strongly influenced the company's entire pneumatic program.
Atlas Diesel finally terminated its less profitable diesel manufacturing in 1948, when Nydqvist & Holm (NOHAB) placed a bid to take over operations. The name Atlas Diesel was no longer relevant, and a new name was sought that would both reflect the company's type of operations and provide uniformity for the foreign subsidiaries. Atlas Copco was chosen, derived from the name of a Belgian subsidiary – Compagnie Pneumatique Commerciale. The decision was made in the autumn of 1955 to rename the company and work with the name change was begun in 1956.
Depicts the day of the year when Atlas Copco’s employees’ families (mostly wives and children) are invited to visit the plant in Sickla.
There is a demonstration program for the visitors, including entertainment from the Swedish actor Sigge Fürst.
Duration: 4:57. Swedish narration.
A movie produced for Atlas Copco’s 100th anniversary. Depicts how the company was founded in an era of pioneering spirit, and the company’s development and milestones during the years.
This film was awarded the bronze price at the 16th international film and TV festival in New York.
Duration: 27:11. English narration.