In the speed rush of technical development, we are moving away from our founding moment with increasing torque. Nevertheless, we take our history with us, because our DNA and our future are contained in it. Our history begins with the yearning of everyone who likes to be on and off the road in open alpine terrain: with the yearning for speed and freedom.
These are the attributes with which the automotive industry sells its artifacts, without necessarily living them itself. The date display on Alois Bauer’s computer shows the year 2005, when the trained vehicle builder and born free spirit finally found his job at a supplier to be too monotonous.
Instead of spinning the hamster wheel for up to three-year project periods for the development of a decorative strip, the versatile technician from Schwaz goes into business for himself with Mattro. He is interested in off-road special-purpose vehicles, as they are frequently used in the often rough terrain of Tyrol. Soon we, as part of a company consortium, are involved in the development of an all-terrain vehicle that, due to structural necessity, is equipped with a diesel-powered electric drive. Instead of an all-wheel drive train, the “Steinbock” gets four electric wheel hub motors to save space.
Working on a project as part of a company association, Mattro continues to help build a robotically exchangeable battery system for electric cars. As one of the very first in Austria, our founder’s one-person company also gains tangible knowledge in battery construction for emission-free mobility – a discipline hardly older than we are – through its contributions to the project’s success.
By persistently sticking to it, Mattro develops into a battery specialist that creates one of the application areas for the increasingly powerful batteries itself: After infinitely complex development work, the “Ziesel,” a fully electric tracked vehicle, emerges. First at home, in the classic way, in the garage, then at the company’s own premises in the industrial halls where the silver from the Schwaz mine used to be smelted.
As a bold crossover construction of an electric single-seater, the Ziesel achieves television fame on Stefan Raab’s show “Schlag den Raab” in 2014: The race of half a dozen “Ziesel” drivers on a course in Cologne sparks such interest in the “Ziesel” during the broadcast that the Mattro website is brought to its knees within minutes by the avalanche of inquiries. The YouTube video of the show reaches over 600,000 views.
Instead of taking a siesta on our laurels, after much hard work we succeed in a technical masterstroke: Our “Ziesel” can even be driven on the street as a road-approved vehicle!
Not only because capital is a scarce commodity in every start-up, we also electrify the special-purpose vehicles of others as our workforce increases in the scope of constantly challenging engineering projects. The Swiss manufacturer Aebi also takes notice of us through the “Ziesel.” On its behalf, we electrify a hay loader suitable for steep slopes.
Great technical accomplishments elsewhere have not yet brought us the financial gain we hoped for.
We extend ourselves in the permanent balancing act between development and production and don’t always have our minds and calendars free enough for the commercial and organizational tasks.
In 2018 we will pull the emergency brake and choose the bankruptcy exit strategy, shutting down Mattro for a restart. We press the reset button in May 2019 together with the Munich-based HAWE Group, a hydraulics specialist with whom we have come to a mutual understanding on a common future:
As part of the HAWE Group, we now have free access to exquisite hydraulic know-how and the wind of corporate sales in our sails. To do this, we electrify HAWE wherever electrification is required.
We reorganized ourselves in the reset and neatly divided our work and business into three divisions: Engineering (Head: Marco Bauer), Battery & Components (Head: Martin Berger) and Vehicles (Head: Benjamin Knaus).