Simson headquarters: Suhl, Germany
Simson parent: IFA (1948–90)
The history of the company begins in 1854, when the taking of Loeb and Moses Simson buy a third of the shares of the steel company in the city of Suhl, Germany. The production of carbon steel by Simson & Co began in 1856. The company began to produce cannon barrels and shells for them. In 1871 they built their first steam engine, and in 1896 they began to produce bicycles.
Simson produced cars from 1914 to 1915 and from 1919 to 1934. Production of cars continued until 1934, and two years later the government of Hitler forced the Simson family to flee the country.
The abandoned company was merged with other producers and the Berlin Suhler Waffen- und Fahrzeugwerke (BSW) concern was established. In the same year the motorcycle BSW 98 was released.
Since 1939 the company was called Gustloff-Werke-Waffenwerk Suhl. Nevertheless, the bikes and bicycles kept the Simson logos.
From 1934 to 1940, the factories produced motorcycles, cars, bicycles, firearms. In 1955, the company launched the production of Simson 425S bikes with a two-stroke engine. The first was the SR1 with 48 engine capacity of 1 cu. He was replaced by SR2 in 1957 and SR2E in 1959. In 1958, the Simson begins the KR50 bikes production.
In 1968 Simson was merged with VEB Ernst-Thälmann-Werk Suhl, forming the new company VEB Fahrzeug- und Jagdwaffenwerk Ernst Thälmann Suhl.
In the late 80s – early 90s, several attempts were made to modernize production. The company still produced several types of firearms, various models of mopeds and even an electric car Hotzenblitz, but the company faced hard competition with European and Japanese manufacturers. Several investors tried to keep the production of motorcycles, but the production of two-wheeled vehicles finally ceased in 2002, and in January 2003 the company declared itself bankrupt.