“We create chemistry” has been BASF’s motto for the last three years, and it describes a strategy that focuses on greater proximity to customers.
The company, based in Ludwigshafen in southwest Germany, has just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Looking back, it seems its motto could also be reversed, after all, it was the right chemistry among key players that enabled BASF to become the world leader in the industry.
This chemistry mattered right from the start. Unlike competitors Bayer and Hoechst, for example, BASF did not have its beginnings in a small family business, but was launched as a large-scale, industrial project. On April 6, 1865, Mannheim entrepreneur Friedrich Engelhorn assembled three dozen founding partners, including business people, bankers and even some potential customers, to launch a new company called “Badische Anilin & Soda-Fabrik.”