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History: From DÜV to TÜV

TÜV Rheinland was founded in 1872 as the “Association for Monitoring Steam Boilers in the Elberfeld and Barmen Districts” in what is now Wuppertal. In the course of technical development, the testing activities expanded more and more. Already at the beginning of the 20th century not only pressure vessels but also elevators, machines and of course motor vehicles had to be inspected. To this day, the safety and quality of people, technology and the environment are still in demand – worldwide.

The development of TÜV Rheinland into what it is today took place in stages. After the association was established in 1872, 80 steam boiler operators merged in 1877 to create the “Rheinischer Dampfkessel-Überwachungsverein (DÜV) Cöln-Düsseldorf” (Cologne-Düsseldorf Rhineland Steam Boiler Monitoring Association). The advancing industrialization in the 20th century was accompanied by dynamic technical development. The range of equipment, products and technical devices expanded considerably as a result, all of which needed testing according to the assessment and view of governmental authorities. In addition to the inspection of steam boilers, the inspection bodies thus also took on activities such as technical inspections of elevators, pressure vessels, power plants, tank equipment, machinery, and – since the beginning of the 20th century – motor vehicles, to a varying degree.

In 1936, the various DÜV associations in Germany were renamed “Technische Überwachungsvereine” (Technical Monitoring Associations), or TÜV for short. The Rheinischer DÜV became TÜV Köln and in 1962 it was renamed as TÜV Rheinland e.V., at which point it employed 600 people at six locations.

Another important step in the association’s development was the expansion of its network throughout Germany. Milestones along the way included the merger of TÜV Berlin-Brandenburg and TÜV Rheinland in 1997 and the 2003 merger of TÜV Pfalz with TÜV Rheinland. Another large step toward the consolidation of the testing market in Germany followed in 2005 with the purchase of Bavaria-based Landesgewerbeanstalt (LGA), which reached its provisional endpoint in 2013 through the integration of the FSP Group that was involved in vehicle testing.

1970 saw the establishment of the first subsidiary outside Germany, which marked the beginning of gradual internationalization. In 1993, TÜV Rheinland generated about 12 percent of its total revenue with approximately 700 employees outside of Germany. Nearly 60 percent of TÜV Rheinland’s employees now work outside of Germany. They generate around 47 percent of total revenue.

A new company structure was also introduced in 1993: While then TÜV Rheinland e.V. basically continued to carry out functions that relieved the burden on the government, such as the inspection of cars and other motor vehicles, as well as of steam boilers and elevators, the rest of the business – including outside Germany – was operated by the newly established stock corporation, whose shares were and are still held completely by the association.

The testing business changed further in these years, also in Germany. Along with the described consolidation of the testing associations, a gradual political deregulation of the testing market took place. This initially affected the general inspection of motor vehicles. Another major step was the promulgation of the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung) in 2002, which included “plant and machinery requiring inspection.” Since then, steam boiler plants or pressure vessels, gas stations or elevator systems, for example, are inspected by authorized inspection bodies in a market that has been deregulated for all of Germany, but no longer only by TÜV.

With the start of the new millennium, digitalization is increasingly influencing TÜV Rheinland's testing activities. The company's international experts are contributing worldwide to improving the protection of network and information systems, but also to securing increasingly networked vehicles, industrial plants and consumer products against cyber-attacks. In addition, TÜV Rheinland is increasingly using digital solutions in its own tests.

Milestones in development

1872 Founded as the “Verein zur Überwachung der Dampfkessel” (Steam Boiler Inspection Organization) in the districts of Elberfeld and Barmen
1877Merger to create the “Rheinischer Dampfkesselüberwachungsverein” (DÜV) (Rhineland Steam Boiler Monitoring Association)
1936Renamed to “Technischer Überwachungsverein Köln” (TÜV) (Cologne Technical Monitoring Association)
1962Renamed to TÜV Rheinland e.V.; six locations in the Rhineland area with 600 employees
1970First subsidiary founded outside Germany
1993TÜV Rheinland AG founded
1997TÜV Berlin-Brandenburg and TÜV Rheinland merged to create TÜV Rheinland Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
2003Merger with TÜV Pfalz to form TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V.
2005Integration of LGA as well as two large Hungarian test institutes
2006Joined the United Nations Global Compact
Integration of two leading Brazilian test service providers
2007 Foundation of the company in Australia, represented on all continents
2010With the acquisition of Geris, TÜV Rheinland becomes the largest technical test service provider in Brazil
2012 60 percent of the employees of TÜV Rheinland work outside Germany
2014 By means of corporate acquisitions in the IT security sector, TÜV Rheinland becomes one of the world’s largest independent testing service providers for information security
2017Completion of the expansion and energy renovations at the site of the Group headquarters in Cologne with investments of almost €70 million
2019Acquisition of the Spanish company Certio, thereby strengthening the network of test centers for vehicle inspections in Spain
2020Investment in one of Europe's most modern independent test centers for traction batteries for electric vehicles at the Aachen site

As of June 2021