RAPID TECHNIC AG
The history of Rapid Technic AG
1926 : Dr. Karl Welter and Ing. Arnold Rutishauser founded “Rapid Motormäher AG” with the aim of manufacturing motor-driven mowing machinery. Rapid was the first company in the world to launch the series production of self-propelled motor mowers with front-driven mowing bars.
1946 : The manufacture of a test series of 36 small “Swiss Volkswagen” cars. One of these cars is on display at Lucerne Transport Museum.
1947 : Relocation of production from Zurich to the newly built factory in Dietikon.
1950 : A major success was enjoyed by Rapid in 1950 with the development and construction of its single-axle tractor type “S” (1950 – 1978). The Rapid trademark was launched in 1949.
The Rapid Spezial was a machine which could not only be used for mowing but also for agricultural purposes as a transporter in combination with a trailer driven via the power take-off shaft. Combined with a wide variety of add-on equipment, the “Spezial” was one of the first multi-functional machines to make its mark on the mechanisation of Swiss agriculture.
1960 : Production of an initial series of 1,000 lawnmowers. Rapid became a lawnmower producer, a clichée that is still widely held to this day.
1961 : Move to a newly constructed administrative building and relocation of Rapid AG’s registered office from Zurich to Dietikon.
1964 : Rapid developed the first automotive trailer, the Rapid Cargotrac 30, marking the start of the company’s development of double-axle transporters spanning a period of 30 years. 1982 saw the market launch of the biggest and most powerful transporter, the Rapid Alltrac 3000.
1967 : The most successful motor mower from Rapid, the Rapid 505, is launched in the market with wide-cutting and zero cutting models.
1972 : The Rapid Heureka, a tractor mower, was developed on the basis of a single-axle vehicle and proved to revolutionise the rationalisation of hay harvesting on terrain with gradients of up to 65%. The development of tractor mowers ended in 1992 with the launch of the Rapid MT 200.
1978 : Rapid agreed on a joint venture with Iseki & Co. Ltd. Tokio, Japan which still exists to this day. Iseki is a successful manufacturer of compact tractors, which are in wide use in Japan as agricultural tractors in rice fields. In Switzerland, the tractor is used primarily for public works purposes.
1990 : The first hydrostatically driven motor mower with a zero cutting unit, the Rapid 507, is launched.
1993 : The Rapid EURO is launched.
1998 : Start of production of the Rapid MONDO. The second generation of the Rapid EURO with an aluminium housing replaces the grey cast iron model.
2000 : The production of the Rapid 505 is discontinued after 33 years, a period during which more than 30,000 units were produced and sold.
2001 : 75th anniversary celebrations of Rapid Maschine und Fahrzeuge AG
2002 : One year after the 75th anniversary celebrations of Rapid Maschine und Fahrzeuge AG, the company was split into two autonomous parts, Rapid Schweiz AG and Rapid Technic AG.
Rapid Schweiz AG deals with the import and distribution of agricultural vehicles.
Rapid Technic AG is active in the following segments:
* production and distribution of single-axle equipment
* import and sale of special vehicles for public works use
* customised manufacture for the machine industry
2003 : Market launch of Rapid UNIVERSO.
Purchase of all rights for the Rapid SWISS from the designer, Karl Lüönd Sen..
Introduction of the first series of Rapid SWISS products based on Lüönd’s plans.
A distribution agreement for Switzerland is concluded with Egholm, the Danish manufacturer of equipment carriers with articulated steering.
A joint venture is agreed with Sewitech AG for the distribution of Sewitech gradient mowers under the label Rapid TECNO.
2005 : Launch of Rapid’s upgraded Rapid SWISS model with a rotary handle.
2006 : Penetration of the American market via cooperation with the company ARIENS/USA (producer of Gravely equipment carriers).
The Rapid MONDO is overhauled and the second generation launched.
2007 : With the takeover of the assets of the agricultural division of Tribolet Autocenter in Chur, Rapid Technic AG was able to secure its distribution of Lindner tractors and transporters for Switzerland. One limitation of a geographic nature exists with regard to the tractors. They can only be sold to customers engaged in alpine agriculture.
2008 : Move from Dietikon/ZH to Killwangen/AG.
2009 : Market launch of Rapid REX, the world's lightest mountain mower for extreme steep slopes.