The name Espewe is derived from the abbreviation 'SPW' for 'Spezial-Prägewerke', which is German for 'special embossing works'.
Espewe was the most commonly used brand name for 1/87th scale plastic model cars made in the GDR. The biggest model car factory in the country was located in Annaberg-Buchholz in the Ore Mountains and started production in 1961.
Besides 1/87th scale models of contemporary domestic cars, buses and trucks, the range also included military vehicles and a series of diecast classic car models in 1/50th scale, in which various cars from (East) Germany were modelled, as well as a 1916 Rolls-Royce. In the 1980s the Plasticart brand name was also used for the Espewe models, and after 1989 s.e.s from Berlin continued to produce some of these models.