After playing a major role in France’s victory in 1918, Schneider had to reconvert to a peacetime economy. It was during this period that the company took advantage of the expansion of electricity, steel and cement in everyday life. Three firms that are now Schneider master brands were also founded during these years: Merlin Gerin, Telemecanique and Square D.
Breakthrough in Germany and eastern Europe after World War I, Schneider began setting up operations in Germany and eastern Europe. Its partnership with Skoda was one of the highlights of this strategy.
The dark days: The recession of the 1930s and arrival of France’s Front Populaire government took a heavy toll on the company. From 1940 to 1944, the German occupation put Schneider in a very difficult position, and its watchword was “endure but resist”.