Extraction of iron ore and smelting activities in the area around Königsbronn mark the birthplace of the plant there and SHW as a whole.
Schwäbische Hüttenwerke GmbH (SHW GmbH) is founded by the State of Baden-Württemberg and Gutehoffnungshütte, Aktienverein für Bergbau und Hüttenbetrieb (nowadays MAN SE). The founding shareholders each hold 50% of SHW GmbH. The business activities comprise mining, operating iron works and trading in raw materials.
SHW constructs a prototype of a car that is so progressive that no entrepreneur at the time dares to build it: aluminium chassis, single-wheel suspension and numerous other technical details which only go into serial production decades later.
In the 1950s SHW begins manufacturing brake discs at its plant in Tuttlingen-Ludwigstal.
SHW starts manufacturing sintered moulded parts with the operation relocated in 1968 from Friedrichstal near Baiersbronn to Aalen–Wasseralfingen.
The year marks the inception of hydraulic pump manufacture in the newly constructed Plant No. 2 in Bad Schussenried. The automotive supply business becomes increasingly significant in the ensuing years.
In 2005 the non-automotive businesses and associated entities are spun-off from the SHW Group. Since this date, the automotive businesses are registered under the name of Schwäbische Hüttenwerke Automotive GmbH. MAN and the State of Baden-Württemberg sell their shares to the financial investor, Nordwind Capital.