August 16th 1937
At the age of 18, Germain CELETTE leaves the Ecole Technique de Vienne (Vienne Technical School) and is hired as a mechanic at the Bechevienne textile factory.
M. Germain CELETTE
May 13th 1947
After World War II and a period of deportation to Germany, he opens a motorcycle and general service workshop in Vienne.
January 18th 1952
Germain CELETTE purchases a garage which, in December of the same year, is destroyed by a fire which spread from an adjacent carpentry shop.
At this time, a friend who runs a bodyshop asks him to create a system to repair damaged Renault 4 CV's with unibody construction. Germain CELETTE manufactures his first bench and bracket set from used metal beams. The Lyon Simca Company, "SALVEA", who had been looking for such equipment, hears about this, contacts CELETTE and supplies the first "Aronde" body to enable him to design a bracket set.
Even then Germain CELETTE was thinking of a universal bench and designs bracket sets for three other current models of that period: the CITROËN TA, the PEUGEOT 203 and the RENAULT 4 CV
As a result, it becomes possible to use the same bench for each vehicle changing only the bracket set. This applies to both current and future models.
As it proves impossible to rebuild the burnt-out workshop because the ground, although in the Centre of the city, has been expropriated, the first benches are manufactured in an old railcar brought into the ruins of the burned workshop.
Down on his luck but possessing a great deal of determination, Germain CELETTE sets up shop in a small workshop borrowed from a friend.
A scaled down model of the Universal Bench is shown at the Lyon trade fair, on the MESTRE & BLATGE Co.stand. Since then, it has been universally successful, catering to the needs of the body repair trade.
CELETTE acquires the Denfert-Rochereau factory. Export starts. First to Germany, where, in this post-war period, French products are poorly regarded because of their inferior quality and delivery problems resulting from the economic instability in France at that time. It is a hard market to attack. As a result of persistent efforts, technical superiority and first-class quality, exports spread to surrounding countries and further to even the remotest parts of the world.
The Swedish insurance Center in VAXJÖ, managed by Kurt Johansson, acquires a CELETTE bench.
With employment increasing steadily, it becomes necessary to expand. Germain CELETTE purchases "Bechevienne", the textile factory where he started his professional carreer.
This is where the benches and all body repair equipment are manufactured today.
Export is still the main thrust of CELETTE S.A. as equipment is designed for vehicles from all over the world.
Mr CELETTE is awarded the title of "Chevalier de l'ordre National du Mérite".
A 800 M2 (8600 Sq ft.) technical center is opened where all CELETTE products are on permanent display and are used in demonstrations.
Since it opened, this centre has welcomed a large number of visitors (2000 in 1991), including importers, engineers and technicians, representatives, body shop customers and insurance assessors from France and all over the world. After a short audio-visual presentation, visitors are shown actual repair work on car bodies, truck cabs or frames.
Evolution of modular crossmembers and integral bracket sets.
The specialized workshops of the large German ALLIANZ insurance company managed by Prof. Dr Danner, engineer, demonstrate the repair of a vehicle using movable panels which are perfectly positioned using electrical motors. This exceptional display, performed on a CELETTE bench, was presented to the public at the AUTOMECHANIKA equipment show in Frankfurt.
CELETTE S.A. installs numerically controlled machines to improve the manufacture of hydraulic components. The year after, the first catalogue is published for this kind of equipment.
August 13th 1979
Once more CELETTE S.A. needs to expand and purchases an adjacent factory. Total space grows to 25 000 m2 ( 270 000 Sq.Ft.) and employment stands at approx.250 people. 26 000 benches are in use in more than 80 countries and this number increases daily. France and Germany are the most important markets.
Export sales represent more than 63 % of total turnover.
The CELETTE repair system can be used on any vehicle which has a body composed of metal panels welded together, whether damage has been caused by front, rear or side impact. Even heavily damaged vehicles with unibody construction can be driven safely if repaired and checked correctly.
For 25 years, insurance companies have had complete confidence in the CELETTE repair system.
By using a simplified version of car production line techniques, the accuracy of the repair job is incontestably guaranteed. This justifies the partial dismantling of mechanical components, which is sometimes necessary.
With the development of the high-strength CELETTE mobile bench, the question of where to position the bench in the workshop is no longer a problem. No special installation is required where the floor is in good condition.
The bench can easily be moved around the shop from one workstation to the next.
When fitted with sill clamps and with the aid of the COBRA 3 multi-angular push/pull unit, the bench becomes the perfect tool for the body repair professional as it can be used to measure, pull, push, clamp and weld.
Every new piece of equipment developed by CELETTE reflects current body repair requirements. Time-saving features are designed to not compromise repair standards.
Convenience features make the work more comfortable while the equipment still conforms to increasingly stringent safety standards.
Decisions made by the insurance companies indeed affect the body repair industry. There was a time when insurance companies refused to pay for the use of the bench and bracket sets, which had already become the standard piece of equipment in the industry. Whenever questions arise, however, regarding the quality of the repair and the matter is taken to court, the only way to obtain a judgement is to place the vehicle on the bench and bracket set. This method is often used in lawsuits and its reliability has never been questioned by the courts.
The CELETTE "Spring 80" catalogue featured 220 bracket sets, which did not fail to impress the body repair industry.
An international network of CELETTE distributors was formed, making these fixture sets available for rent to body shops.
To ensure top quality customer service, CELETTE S.A. maintains a stock of finished products worth 20 million Francs, occupying a warehouse of 8 000 M2 (86.000 Sq.Ft.).
Unibody construction and CELETTE benches continue to develop hand in hand. Both are French concepts which, despite some problems along the way, have conquered markets throughout the world. Even in the United States, car manufacturers have increasingly turned to unibody construction. For this reason, Germain CELETTE and his team have developed, in cooperation with major U.S. car manufacturers, numerous bracket sets for the new American unibody models.
The bench, its bracket sets and the complete CELETTE repair system have been exhibited in TOKYO, where this equipment is well known because of the close cooperation between CELETTE and the Japanese car manufacturers.
The CELETTE product line is successfully expanded by the addition of the Metro 2000 measuring system, the System 5000 and new sill clamps. The MUF 7 bench is introduced, featuring a streamlined shape and an improved design.
To keep up with the latest technological developments, CELETTE installs robotic equipment and a numerically controlled machining center.
A whole range of top quality hydraulic equipment is developped and manufactured at the "Bechevienne" factory.
CELETTE publishes its first specialized hydraulics and accessories catalogue.
The Metro 2000 measuring system continues to gain market share because of its high performance and technical superiority.
Computerization of general management functions is expanded to include production management and sales departments.
An important year. 30 000 benches have been manufactured Three events take place to celebrate this milestone:
-Bench number 30 000 is bought by the Mercedes-Benz training center in Sindelfingen, Germany and is presented to them during the Frankfurt trade show.
Numbers 30 001 and 30 002 are given to lucky winners ; one during the London trade show, the other at the Equip'Auto show in Paris.
The 4 Tonnes hydraulic range and its cupro-alu accessories manufactured at the Bechevienne Factory, are added to the catalogue.
A new truck repair system, the BPL. 500 is designed to complete the product range in this sector.
With the computerization of all administrative services, a powerful CAD-CAM installation is acquired for the engineering department.
The CAD-CAM installation is operational very quickly thanks to a young and dynamic team. CELETTE introduces the MC. 8, a new high technology, integrated bench and pulling unit, designed for the next generation of vehicles coming in 1986, as well as the Towers and Heads of the MZ.1986
A new sales team is organized in France.
CELETTE, a leader in its industry, enters the French Club of "N° 1" World-wide companies.
CELETTE exhibits in or attends 31 shows throughout the world.
Launch of the "LAKUDA".
Creation of an Italian subsidiary in Turin.
Evolution of the C.A.O, and computer systems.
Beginning of the F.A.O. system.
Study and design of the "Bodyshop Concept".
The new MT. 10 is launched.
By the end of 1988, automatic drilling of the benches by means of a numerically controlled machine.
Modernization of the general warehouses.
The P.A.O. system is in operation.
The ECO 2000 is born! A mobile lifting trolley for use by bodyshop techicians, especially designed to load the vehicle onto the bench.
Installation of automatic welding lines.
Neighboring buildings are acquired to complete a new automatic production line, scheduled for installation in 1992.
The torch cutting is numerically controlled.
The Swiss subsidiary is created by the acquisition of WENGER.
Development of the P.A.O. System.
Launching of a new "miniaturized" laser system for the BPL. which has also followed a new evolution, under reference BPL. 540.
The electric central unit of Lakuda has been equipped with a remote control system.
As always, CELETTE was present in 35 international shows. With local exhibitions in each country, the presence of CELETTE increases every day in Central Europe.
340 people are employed by CELETTE in Vienne. A total of 500 people is obtained when all subsidiaries are added.
A new subsidiary "CELETTE JAPAN" is established in TOKYO.
Launch of the Sevenne System, latest model of the fixture bench system, with a complementary lifting unit for an optimal work height.
MENYR 3, a bench bench and pulling unit, specially designed for the straightening of truck cabs.
As a member of "World N° 1 Club", CELETTE is attends the Universal Exhibition in Seville, through a virtual image within the "Intelligent Machinery" group.
Distribution agreement with the firm "Banzai" in Tokyo.
The "Research and Development" Department undertakes the design new products, with priority given to the electronic and data processing division.
Evolution and updating of the computerized commercial and production control systems.
A new, modernized location for the bench manufacturing in the newly acquired premises on avenue Berthelot.
Installation of the new enlarged hydraulic workshop on avenue Berthelot.
Structuring of exportation in Western Europe.
Preparation of a new electronic measuring device.
Launching of the "Rapid Bodyshop Work Station" and of "VEGA", small straightening unit integrated into this system.
Presentation of the "NAJA" computerized measuring system during the Frankfurt Show.
Inauguration of the YANCHENG-CELETTE factory, a facility dedicated to production for the Chinese market.
Launch of the "GRIFFON", a high lifting bench with runway decking plates and integrated mobile lifting unit for positioning vehicles on the MZ System.
The succes of the "GRIFFON" is established. The launching of "RHONE", straightening lifting.
"RHONE" is equipped with an hydroelectric power unit, designed to activate the lifting unit.