It all began in 1946, when two brothers-in-law started chasing the dream of setting up their own business. K.B. Jensen and Tage Jensen founded the company called ‘Tage Jensen & Co.’ and became resellers of spare parts for automobiles.
From the humble beginnings fuelled by a bank loan and a father-in-law who was willing to stand surety, the two young entrepreneurs would eventually bring in a third partner a decade later and become manufacturers of spare parts themselves.
During the 1980s, the company founders retired and the TAJCO legacy was carried on and taken to new heights by the Lorenz family who still own the company today.
The following shows you some of the milestones in the history of TAJCO.
1946: The two brothers-in-law Tage Jensen and Knud Børge (nicknamed K.B.) Jensen establishes the trading company 'Tage Jensen & Co.' in Aarhus, Denmark. They buy spare parts from manufacturers and sell on to car dealers, repair shops and petrol stations.
1955: Tage and K.B partner up with Johannes Christiansen and move into manufacturing spare parts for the automotive industry. The factory is based in Esbjerg on the west coast of Denmark. The first production of brass exhaust trims for the aftermarket (direct sales to consumers via retail outlets) begins. The company name is changed to TAJCO (an abbreviation of Tage Jensen & CO.). Over the next few years, TAJCO becomes a well-known brand across Europe, especially in Germany where the majority of the export goes to.
1984: The three owners of TAJCO retire and sell the company to Svend Aage Lorenz. He moves the company to Grindsted, Denmark, in 1985.
1988: TAJCO acquires the company RACO and its production of battery terminals for car batteries and jumper cables. The same year, TAJCO lands the first OEM order for exhaust trims from BMW. This marks the beginning of rapid growth and several awards, including that of the company of the year.
1992: TAJCO acquires one of its competitors, the German company Fa. Böckelmann. This paves the way for better access to the German car accessories market and customers such as BMW and Mercedes. Daimler AG becomes a new OEM customer.
1996: TAJCO celebrates its 50th anniversary on the 1st of April at the headquarters in Grindsted. One of the highlights of the day is the showcasing of the brand new BMW Z3, which was known for its role in the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995). The exhaust trim of the Z3 was of course made by TAJCO.
1997: Svend Aage Lorenz’s two sons, Kurt and Frank Lorenz, become joint owners of TAJCO and take on the responsibility for production and product development.
1999: This year marks the beginning of a new era in TAJCO’s history: The company becomes a direct supplier to series production at BMW. At the same time, VW Group can be added to the list of OEM customers.
The same year, TAJCO produces its first stainless steel trims for Nissan. BMW soon follows.
2000: The revamped Mini Cooper was launched with the iconic ‘Budweiser’ exhaust trim. The trim was designed by the famous automotive engineer Frank Stephenson and created by TAJCO.
2001: Svend Aage Lorenz leaves TAJCO due to illness, leaving his two sons, Frank and Kurt Lorenz, in charge. TAJCO now has approximately 40 employees.
2002: TAJCO achieves the ISO 9000 certification. A tier 1 agreement with Daimler Chrysler is made.
2003: TAJCO becomes ISO 9001 certified, resulting in greater acceptance in the automotive industry. As a result, Frank and Kurt Lorenz’s eyes are opened to the potential scale of the market for TAJCO, if the company can supply the German automotive industry directly. With Kurt and Frank as the driving forces, focus on development intensifies substantially, and for the next few years, the two brothers are responsible for all development. TAJCO also achieves to become ISO 14001 certified in 2003.
2004: It is decided to start up production in China. TAJCO becomes a tier 1 supplier for Audi (VW Group). The company now employs 130 employees. The brass exhaust trims are now phased out entirely and replaced with stainless steel trims.
Based on the trim solution TAJCO made for the VW Phaeton, Bentley Motors approach the Danish company and become one of its customers.
2005: The first production of parts for the aftermarket begins in Ningbo, China, in April 2005.
2006: TAJCO is a company in rapid growth, and this presents a number of new managerial challenges. Kurt and Frank Lorenz decide to hand over the reins to a professional board of directors and a new management team, led by CEO Rolf Ebbesen.
This year is also marked by the establishment of a new factory in Ningbo, China. TAJCO is now working globally and employing about two hundred people in China, Denmark and Germany. The company becomes certified in accordance with the automotive industry’s stringent TS 16949 standard in Denmark, and in China the following year. This is later changed to a group certification.
2007: The city of Ningbo, China, becomes TAJCO’s principal production location.
2008: A sales company is established in the US with a sales office in Michigan. It is decided to develop TAJCO into a superior exhaust trim specialist for the global OEM market.
2009: Production in Denmark is put to a halt. All production is now relocated to Ningbo.
2010: TAJCO becomes tier 1 supplier to Volvo and GM.
2011: TAJCO becomes supplier to Chrysler. A new TAJCO office is established in Stuttgart, Germany.
2012: It is decided to terminate the production of exhaust trims for the aftermarket (direct sales to consumers via retail outlets).
2013: A fire destroys 12.000 m2 of TAJCO’s production facility in Ningbo, and TAJCO learn what outsourcing means – the hard way. A second manufacturing facility is opened in Ningbo, China, because demand is increasing rapidly.
2014: The TAJCO headquarters are moved from Grindsted, Denmark, to Vejle, Denmark.
2015: The TAJCO distribution and manufacturing site is opened in Malacky, Slovakia.
2017: A warehouse is established in Birmingham, UK.
2018: A warehouse is established in Laredo, Texas, USA. CEO Rolf Ebbesen retires and is replaced by Erik Laursen.
2021: The manufacturing facility in Slovakia is closed and programmes are transferred to the Ningbo site. Malacky remains a hub for distribution and shared services for TAJCO.
2022: The first daylight opening (DLO) products from TAJCO move from development into series production. The customer is Audi.
Aston Martin becomes a new OEM customer.