|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
|Key people||Matthias Harsch, CEO|
|Products||TVs, Blu-ray players, audio equipment, and multiroom solutions|
Loewe AG (pronounced [ˈløːvə]) is the parent company of the German Loewe group. The Loewe group develops, manufactures and sells a wide variety of electronic, electrical and mechanical products and systems, and specialises in the field of consumer and communication technology. The company was founded in Berlin in 1923 by brothers Siegmund and David L. Loewe. The company has its headquarters and sole production facilities in Kronach, Franconia. Today, the range has expanded to include televisions, Blu-ray players, DVD recorders, hard disk recorders, multiroom systems, speakers and racks. The trend is shifting from individual products to complete home entertainment systems. Loewe AG is also represented internationally by sales partners and subsidiaries. These include subsidiaries in the Benelux countries, France, Italy, Austria and the UK. There are exclusive Loewe Galeries acting as flagship stores in many cities around the world, including Madrid, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Copenhagen, Vienna, Moscow and Hong Kong.
Following financial hardships, in July 2013 the company filed for bankruptcy protection, but after subsequent severe financial losses, on October 1, 2013 the Loewe Group declared bankruptcy and entered in a self-administration insolvency process, see Insolvency in self-administration. On 17 January 2014 the company announced that Loewe's management board reached an agreement with an investor group composed of German family-run companies and former Apple and Bang & Olufsen managers. The takeover of major assets from Loewe AG was agreed. This secures the future of the traditional Loewe brand in Germany, under German ownership.
It all began in 1923 in Berlin, when Dr Siegmund Loewe and his brother David Ludwig Loewe established a radio manufacturing company called Radiofrequenz GmbH. Their work with the young physicist Manfred von Ardenne in 1926 led to the development of the triple tube, which was first used in the Loewe OE333 radio receiver. This tube prompted Loewe’s multi-tube production and is today lauded as the world’s first integrated circuit.
Television development began at Loewe in 1929. The company worked together with British television pioneer John Logie Baird. In 1931, Manfred von Ardenne presented the world’s first fully electronic television to the public on the Loewe stand at the 8th Berlin Radio Show.
In 1949, Siegmund Loewe regained possession of company property and took over as chairman of the supervisory board. In the 1950s, Loewe began producing the Optaphon, the first cassette tape recorder, and manufacturing televisions in Kronach. 1961 saw the first European video recorder, the Optacord 500, enter mass production.
In 1962, the family company tradition ended with the death of Siegmund Loewe. Subsidiaries of the Philips group took over the majority of shares. Under this management, which continued until 1985, the company increasingly specialised in the development and production of televisions.
In 1963, the first portable television, Loewe Optaport, was launched. It had a 25 cm screen and built-in FM radio. The first Loewe colour televisions were launched along with the introduction of colour television in Germany. In 1979 Loewe introduced a fully integrated chassis (everything on a single board) television production. The first European stereo television followed in 1981.
In 1985, management made Loewe a privately owned company again after Philips sold its shares. In the same year, Loewe created the Art 1, a new generation of TVs with a focus on design.
The CS1 represented another international first in 1995 as the world’s first fully recyclable television. At this time, the course was also set for systematic further development as a multimedia specialist.
1998 marked two more milestones in the company history: the launch of the Xelos @ media, the first television with internet access, and that of the Spheros, the first Loewe flat-screen television. In the following year, Loewe AG became a publicly listed company.
With the Individual, the first flat-screen TV with individual housing options, set-up solutions and inset colours, Loewe became a premium flat-screen TV manufacturer.
LED technology was adopted at Loewe in 2010 in the new Individual. In the following year, Loewe introduced 3D picture display to its Individual range.
Insolvency in self-administration
The protective proceedings for Loewe AG and Loewe Opta GmbH have transitioned into a self-administration insolvency process (German: "Insolvenzverfahren in Eigenverwaltung"). The Coburg insolvency court approved a request on this matter from Loewe's management and confirmed self-administration. The business will remain fully operational beyond October 1, 2013.
- 75 Jahre Loewe (1923-1998). Und die Zukunft geht weiter, author's edition 1998
- Kilian J.L. Steiner: Ortsempfänger, Volksfernseher und Optaphon. Die Entwicklung der deutschen Radio- und Fernsehindustrie und das Unternehmen Loewe 1923-1962. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2005, ISBN 978-3-89861-492-4
- Frank Keuper, Jürgen Kindervater, Heiko Dertinger, Andreas Heim (Hrsg.): Das Diktat der Markenführung. 11 Thesen zur nachhaltigen Markenführung und -implementierung. Mit einem umfassenden Fallbeispiel der Loewe AG, Gabler Fachverlage, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-8349-0852-0
- "German technology manufacturer Loewe declares bankruptcy"
- "Investor consortium to rescue high-end TV maker Loewe". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Loewe AG: self-administration insolvency, a corporate press-release
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