Karl Deutsch GmbH

Karl Deutsch was employed as a master wagon builder at the wheelwright J. W. Utermöhle GmbH in Cologne for many years. This filed for bankruptcy in 1913. Karl Deutsch acquired the insolvent Utermöhle and from 1914 called it 'Westdeutsche Fahrzeugwerk GmbH'. In 1916 the company 'Karl Deutsch GmbH' was created. At first, Deutsch mainly built truck trailers, but also some custom-made products. After the First World War, individual structures for cars and small series continued. One of Deutsch's major customers was Citroën: Citroën opened a production plant in Cologne-Poll in 1927 (Cologne commercial register number 6379: "Citroen-Automobil Aktiengesellschaft") as the French automobile manufacturer's only German plant to date. For the Citroën B 14, from 1927 onwards,... Cologne mainly manufactured bodies that were mounted on the delivered chassis. This resulted in commercial vehicles, medical vehicles and taxis. It was the first assembly line production of cars in Cologne. A total of 18,710 Citroën vehicles of the Rosalie types B14, C4, C6 were manufactured -Series and Traction Avant with a body. Deutsch turned the C4 and C6 into chic convertibles. Deutsch is said to have built around 1,000 bodies for Citroën. However, due to increasing restrictions on foreign companies, production at Citroën ended in 1935. On September 7th In 1929, Carl Heine (General Director of Ford) and Konrad Adenauer (Mayor of Cologne) signed the contract for the property in the north of Cologne. The first Ford from Cologne rolled off the assembly line on May 4, 1931. Ford's daily production was initially designed for 60 cars. However, this could not satisfy the demand for Ford cars. Deutsch became the house and court supplier for Ford. In 1934, 8 to 10 bodies could be completed per day, and four years later it was already 30 per day. In addition to the Ford companies in Cologne, the Ford factories in the Netherlands were also part of the clientele. In the 1930s, more than 10,000 bodies for the Ford Eifel alone came from Deutsch. Deutsch made a name for itself primarily as a convertible supplier. Beautiful Ford V8 or the Ford Taunus de Luxe (called Buckel-Taunus), Taunus 12M and 17M were created. There were also small series orders from Borgward (15 coupés and Isabella convertibles) and Opel (Opel Rekord C and Opel Commondore A GS: 15 units). But one of the most beautiful Opel models of all time was also dressed in Cologne: the Moonlight Roadster from 1932/3 on a 1.8 liter chassis. At the beginning of the 1960s, an Audi 100 Cabriolet was built as a prototype, but it never went into series production. At times, Deutsch was one of the leading body manufacturers in Germany. Thanks to the close cooperation with Ford, Deutsch experienced its most successful period in the 1930s. Up to 700 people were employed in the heyday. The emerging safety debate at the end of the 1960s made selling convertibles increasingly difficult. The laborious manual work also led to economic difficulties. A Ford Capri was one of the last cars to have a body built in the early 1970s. In 1971, body construction was therefore discontinued. In 1972, Deutsch filed for bankruptcy.