Johann Puch

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Johann Puch

Johann Puch (Slovene: Janez Puh) (June 27, 1862 in Sakušak, Jursinci, near Ptuj, then Austria-Hungary, today Slovenia – July 19, 1914 in Zagreb, then Austria-Hungary, today Croatia) was Slovenian inventor and mechanic who went on to become a very significant vehicle producer in Europe. He completed special training as a locksmith (his only formal education) and lived and worked most of his younger life in multi-national Styria, then part of Austria-Hungary.


Johann Puch was born June 27, 1862 to Slovene-speaking parents in Sakušak, a part of historical Austria-Hungary that now lies in Slovenia. In 1885 moved to Graz, Austria (Slovene Gradec) in modern Austria, where in 1891 he started to manufacture bicycles which he sold in Austria, as well as exporting to England and France . His success led to the founding of his own company in 1899, which was called "Erste steiermärkische Fahrrad-Fabriks-AG" (First Styrian Bicycle Company).

The company started producing motorcycles in 1903 and cars in 1904. By 1912 Puch's factory employed 1,100 workers and manufactured 300 cars, 300 motorcycles and 16,000 bicycles per year. He retired in 1912 but remained honorary president of the company.

Up to 1914 Puch developed 21 different types of cars, and also lorries, buses, military and some other special vehicles, including sedan limousines for the imperial Habsburg family and vehicles for the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I.

Puch's motorcycles and cars were successful in races and rallies all over Europe carried his name among vehicle producers.

The tradition was continued by the Steyr-Daimler-Puch company in Graz and Vienna.

He successfully obtained patents for more than 35 inventions and improvements.

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