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A Commitment to Tradition!

Obus-Trailer, Kässbohrer

Established in Heiligenhausen/Germany in 1857 by Arnold Kiekert, KBT was originally a lock- and fittings factory. In those days it was known under the name of “Arnold Kiekert and Sons (AKS)”. Following the turmoil of the first and second world war and the subsequent reconstruction of the country, the traditional product range was expanded by the development and manufacturing of bus doors. This led to the production of doors for the so-called "Obus-trailer" for the company “Kässbohrer” starting in the year 1949. In the following years the product range was broadened by the manufacturing of door systems for streetcars and trains.

Type label Original-Kiekert 1950

In the mid-1970s, Kiekert AG made a decision which was beginning to set an industry trend. Due to its increasing role as a supplier for locking systems to the automotive industry, other business lines were sold in order to expand and concentrate solely on this new core business. Consequently, the development and manufacturing line of business for streetcar as well as for bus door systems was sold to the IFE-Group in the early 1990s.

In 2001, under the umbrella of the company Knorr Bremse GmbH, located in Munich, a cooperation between Webasto and Kiekert was arranged which ended by the withdrawal of the company Webasto. This void was filled by the company Deans-Systems Ltd., which represented a new competent and internationally operating partner for Kiekert Automatiktüren GmbH. As a result, Deans Kiekert GmbH with its headquarter in Velbert/Germany was founded. Together, they were able to open up new business segments. As of 2004, apart from the traditional bus door systems, the company has also developed, produced and successfully sold boarding ramps and door systems for special vehicles on the European market.

In 2008, the company Deans Kiekert GmbH added the entire production of Hübner‘s bus doors to its already existing product portfolio. Every year thousands of city and intercity vehicles left the production halls in Essen and were delivered to almost every single manufacturer of bus systems throughout Europe.
Nevertheless, the economic recession strongly affected the parent company in England and unfortunately, the company’s bankruptcy could not be avoided. Due to its close economic ties, the consequences were quite extreme for Deans Kiekert GmbH in Germany as it had been a 100% subsidiary and this inevitably led to its bankruptcy.

Type label KBT GmbH 2012

Early in 2010, within the scope of a management buy-out the newly founded KBT GmbH has continued its distribution and manufacturing of the former Deans Kiekert GmbH products at its former company premises in Velbert/Germany. First of all, priority was given to the organization of the spare parts supply for the door systems which have already been used on the market. At the same time, the development and manufacturing of new vehicle doors moved more into the focus of the core business.

Since the founding of the company the following principles have guaranteed KBT’s business success:

  • Individually designed door systems, manufactured to the highest standards of quality and reliability.
  • Optimal adjustment to the market conditions and to the increasing needs and expectations of their customers.