The company was founded in 1898 as Waggonfabrik Uerdingen AG in Uerdingen. After the merger with Düsseldorfer Waggonfabrik in 1935, railway vehicles were built in Uerdingen, whilst the Düsseldorf plant produced mainly local traffic vehicles, namely tramway and light rail vehicles. Since 1981, the company officially carried the name Duewag. Duewag was sold to Siemens in 1989 by Talbot and the company was consequently dissolved in 2000.
Duewag vehicles were close to a monopoly market in West Germany, as nearly every tram and light rail vehicle purchased from the 1960s onward was built by Duewag.