This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. In particular, KraussMaffei Group GmbH () and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG () are two different companies, with nothing in common apart from their past; the article mixes them up. Please help us clarify the article; suggestions may be found on the talk page.(September 2013)
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Krauss-Maffei was formed in 1931 from a merger of the two Munich firms of Maffei (founded 1838) and Krauss & Co. (founded 1860). Both belonged to the leading German makers of locomotives of various types. Maffei also built other steam-operated vehicles and, later, manufactured vehicles with combustion engines, including locomotives, trolleybuses and buses until the 1950s.
The production of armored vehicles was joined with the company Wegmann to Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Siemens had a 49% stake; Wegmann & Co. Unternehmens-Holding KG in Kassel bought this stake in December 2010 to become the sole shareholder of KMW. The family holding is owned by about 26 silent partners. The partners are members of the families Bode, von Braunbehrens, von Maydell and Sethe and are all descendants of the firm's founders or the later owners of Wegmann & Co. In 2011, a planned deal to sell hundreds of tanks to Saudi Arabia during the time of the Arab Spring caused widespread criticism. The NGO Zentrum für politische Schönheit (Center for political beauty) posted a reward of 25,000 Euro for bringing the owner family of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to jail. One of the owners, Burkhart von Braunbehrens, publicly opposed the deal and wrote an open letter to the German President Joachim Gauck. According to a leading interview question by a taz journalist, he was then asked to step down from his advisory roles with the company; he did not confirm this in the interview.