Today Tungsram returns to the market as an innovative global brand, headquartered in Hungary. ”Innovation is our heritage” – is the core belief of the new management of Tungsram Group, continuing and reinvigorating a 120 year old proud tradition of Hungarian creativity and innovation.
In February, GE Lighting announced the proposed sale of its business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, as well as its Global Automotive business, to an entity controlled by Joerg Bauer, a former GE executive with more than 20 years of multinational company experience. Today the first milestone of that proposed sale was realized when Tungsram Group assumed ownership of Tungsram Operations Kft., which included GE Lighting’s Hungarian-based operations, employees, assets and contracts. This represents a majority of the proposed sale.*
Innovation is our Heritage
We are both proud and humble to have the chance to restart the long history of Tungsram as a globally successful, innovation-driven brand,” says Joerg Bauer, President & CEO of Tungsram Group. “We aspire to continue the tradition of industrial legends like Aschner Lipót, who dedicated his life to Tungsram and the community of world-class reseachers like Zoltan Bay, Imre Bródy, Tivadar Millner or György Szigeti working in Europe’s first industrial research laboratory, which was set up in 1923 following the example of Thomas Edison.
Tungsram, originally established in 1896, is a brainchild of the 2nd industrial revolution – resulting in the electrification of the world. Tungsram was founded in the year of Hungary's Millenium celebration: Budapest was then the second most dynamically growing city after Chicago.
From its earliest beginnings through GE’s aquisition of the brand in 1989 and to the present day, Tungsram has systematically built new solutions, primarily around its Lighting core and opportunities for electrification – telephone technology, medical and radio tubes and other applications, often leading to exponential sales growth.
Innovation is our Future
Today we are facing the opportunities and challenges of the 4th industrial revolution, driven by the rapid convergence of technologies, like data, mobile communication, artificial intelligence and internet of things. At the time of its founding, Tungsram, along with Budapest, successfully embraced the opportunities of its time and rapidly grew to a global technology leader., Likewise the Tungsram Group of today, now revitalised, will invest into future-safe technologies and dynamically growing global markets, while still strengthening the Lighting core of its business.
A strong position
Even today exporting more than 95% of its production, Tungsram will leverage sales into more than 100 global markets. Its highly-productive supply chain, centered around its 5 factories in Hungary working to the highest quality standards with its network of 500 local suppliers and partners, represent a significant advantage in today’s competitive environment.
“We plan to invest in all our active locations and develop distinct technological capabilities for the factories, all while strengthening customer-facing distribution partners. The whole organisation will be refocused to support our customers and partners, following the principle of ’what more can we do for your success,’ with the flexibility and the agility of a startup company,” says Joerg Bauer, TITLE.
Our most important near-term goal is to assure a smooth transition, continuing our operations as a standalone company with secured transitional support from GE for some time. Our customers, employees and suppliers will experience uninterrupted deliveries, timely payments and exceptional quality from day one, supported by the same trusted colleagues that have served them all along.
Tungsram is open for business
Today Tungsram has a fully vertically integrated supply chain network with advanced capabilities around Glass, Ceramics, Metal and Plastic, combined with state-of-the-art quality systems, automation and smart factories. Its high productivity combines globally competitive unit cost, with the flexibility to scale production on demand. For the mutual benefit of all parties, Tungsram plans to offer this capability to select partners that complement its already broad Lighting product portfolio. This would ensure addition of fast access to future-safe technologies and benefits from Tungsram’s infrastructure, capacities and its ability to scale.
The smart future of Lighting
On the world market, Tungsram will continue to be represented as a premium European brand with design, development and manufacturing in Europe, and a commitment to continue and expand its outreach.
The automotive division has been successful in the world market for 60 years, both in the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and in the aftermarket with their products manufactured in Europe. "We would like to strengthen our current position, and we are planning serious development in LED (Light Emitting Diodes) solutions since this technology is taking a bigger chunk of the industry each year’ says Gabriella Mozes, the General Manager of Automotive, who has worked in the industry over 40 years, including being part of Tunsgram at the time of the GE aquisition and serving as a leader in the GE Lighting organization since.
A new opportunity for global talent
Tungsram offers exciting opportunities to the next generation in Hungary and beyond. Tungsram will retain the diverse, compliant and merit-based culture of the previous organisation, continue to be an active corporate citizen of its communities, and combine this with the agility and speed of a startup company. Being part of this exciting transformation will offer deeply rewarding, impactful career opportunities. As an employee joining our team in any of our locations or as a dynamic startup in our future Open Innovation Center in Budapest, Tungsram will work to be your partner of choice.
*The proposed sale of the remaining GE Lighting operations across the region is subject to local agreements. Before entering into these agreements, where appropriate, a consultation process with relevant employee representatives will be completed in accordance with local laws.
A Tungsram Chronology
1862 Béla and Bernát Egger found the predecessor of Tungsram in Vienna
1896 Bernát Egger and the Pest Hungarian Commercial Bank form Egyesült Izzólámpa és Villamossági Rt. (United Electric Incandescent Light Factory Co.)
1901 Building the Újpest (now Budapest) factory
1904 Sándor Just and Franjo Haneman invent the tungsten filament light bulb that becomes the main product of the company
1921 Lipót Aschner becomes the CEO; he had come up with the name Tungsram; had founded factories and the world-famous research lab; makes the brand a world market factor
1923 A world famous research team is set up, including e.g. Pál Selényi, the ’father of xerography” and the inventor of light measurement at photography
1934 Imre Bródy, a researcher at Tungsram invents the krypton light bulb
1937 Tungsram opens a television laboratory
1946 Zoltán Bay, the technology officer of the company founds radar astronomy by a world famous experiment
1989 GE purchases the majority of Tungsram shares, later 100%.
1998 The first international shared services center in Hungary is established at the GE/Tungsram EMEA HQ in Budapest
2018 Tungsram Group is founded