The company was founded by Nikolaus Otto, inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion engine, in 1864 as N. A. Otto & Cie. Other famous names who worked for Deutz are Eugen Langen, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Prosper L'Orange, Rudolf Diesel, Robert Bosch and Ettore Bugatti.
In the early years Otto and his partner, lawyer Eugen Langen, were interested only in stationary engines, not in automobiles. In the middle 1870s, technical director Gottlieb Daimler, agitating for production of automobiles, was transferred to the company's St. Petersburg factory to reduce his influence. He resigned, taking Wilhelm Maybach with him.
Deutz once also produced agricultural machines like combines and tractors as well as commercial vehicles such as lorries and buses. (In 1995 Deutz sold the agricultural machinery division Ц called Deutz-Fahr Ц to SAME, an Italian company, which formed SAME Deutz-Fahr then.) Deutz's head office is in the Porz district of Cologne and as of 2004 was manufacturing liquid and air-cooled diesel engines. The larger engines in the Deutz range were manufactured in Mannheim, at a production facility that once belonged to a company called MWM. Deutz also have production facilities in other countries including Spain and a joint venture production facility in China. After Deutz took over, the plant specialised in marine engines. This facility now produces engines for marine and power generation which can run on either fuel oils or fuel gases (including landfill gas).
During World War II, the company was ordered to produce artillery and operated under the name Klockner Humbolt Deutz AG (KHD), although both names have been used since, even by the company itself, until recently.
Deutz-powered commercial vehicles were popular in the years 1960-1980, sold under the brand name Magirus Deutz.
DEUTZ is Volvo's main supplier of small- and medium-sized diesel engines. Europe generates approximately 75% of the company's revenues. SAME DEUTZ-FAHR Group S.p.A. owns about 45% of DEUTZ, while AB Volvo owns almost 7%.
AGCO was established in 1990 with the purchase of Deutz Allis Corporation from German-based Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz AG. KHD, in turn, had purchased portions of the Allis-Chalmers agricultural equipment business five years earlier. Since that time, AGCO has become a worldwide farm machinery company through market growth, strategic acquisitions and cutting edge agricultural solutions.
AGCO was formed in the management buyout of Deutz Allis from KHD, and began manufacturing and distributing farm equipment under the AGCOЃ Allis and GLEANERЃ brand names.
Amphibious Bridging and Ferrying Equipment (M2) Build by EWK there partner in developing was Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz.