The LuK owners Georg and Wilhelm Schaeffler give Dr. Ernst Kohlhage, Managing Director at LuK, the green light to found the company AS Autoteile-Service GmbH & Co (AS). Schaeffler holds 50%, Ferodo/Verto (today Valeo) 36% and Häussermann 14%, on which Ferodo/Verto has an option. The service company for the automotive aftermarket is established in Mörfelden near Frankfurt/Main on October 1st 1976.
In January 1977, a small 8-member team kicks off operations at AS. Within the year, the number of employees doubles. The first AS Dealer Conference, in which 12 wholesale companies from Germany take part, is held in Vienna as early as December 1977. AS delivers the first set of catalogues to its customers. The distinguishing characteristic: the self-explaining part number, an absolute novelty in the industry at the time.
- In May, the inaugural meeting of the Marketing Working Group takes place featuring also five representatives of the AS dealer companies. AS is the first supplier of clutch spare parts to introduce the pioneering clutch repair kit LuK RepSet® (including clutch disk, pressure plate and release bearing), thereby facilitating things for the workshop. AS takes over the export business from the LuK parent company.
Siegfried Kronmüller is appointed Managing Director. He has been holding a leading position as sales director since the foundation of AS.
The LuK Master-Service Concept is introduced, comprising services to increase the competitiveness of independent workshops.
AS debuts its racing clutch program.
LuK launches volume production of the dual mass flywheel for BMW.
1986 - In a first round of negotiations with INA in June 1986, AS lays the ground for becoming the distributor of INA hydraulic valve lash adjustment components. With its Original-Part-Specialist-Retailer concept AS strengthens the position of the retail businesses. The “LuKrative Idea Book” becomes a best seller. First big advertising campaign of the LuK brand on occasion of the Soccer World Championship in Mexico. The LuK Meister-Service concept hits international markets (Austria, Denmark, Great Britain, Benelux, Hungary). More than 1,600 repair shops in Europe promote their business with the LuK brand.
The Mörfelden premises are bursting at the seams. New headquarters are constructed in Langen (5,250 sqm storage space and 2,000 sqm office space). AS is among the first companies to use interactive video text.
The new headquarters are officially opened with the 1st European AS Dealer Conference under the motto “Daring New Markets”. AS subsidiaries in Great Britain, the US and Mexico are established.
AS is a sponsor of the Table Tennis World Championship taking place in Dortmund.
The existing range of clutches is complemented by an ambitious supplementary clutch program. AS initiates the “System Workshop” project jointly with ATE. AS supports the introduction of the electronic spare parts catalogue "Teilemarkt".
In Madrid, AS Spain is founded. The first AUTOMEISTER workshop opens – an innovative repair shop franchising concept. AS becomes a shareholder in TecDoc.
AS implements the Product Management department to optimize its sales program. The AS Technical Hotline goes live.