A special “family day” was held on Saturday, 21st September, organised by Marangoni at its Henstedt-Ulzburg facility to celebrate the important milestone of 100 years of German company history.
Major Milestone for Marangoni in Germany
The event was also attended by Vittorio Marangoni, President and CEO of the Marangoni Group, and Matthias Leppert, Managing Director of Marangoni Retreading Systems Deutschland. Both gave a speech in front of approximately 250 people who, during the day, had taken part in the centenary celebrations. For the event, the entire European sales force of the Retreading Systems Division, accompanied by other representatives and executives from Italy, also met at the facility located 30 km north of Hamburg.
The success of the event was guaranteed by the active participation of many employees and family members in the organisation of the various activities, including the varied catering service. There were also shows and games dedicated not only to children but also to teenagers and adults. For the occasion, many employees chose to wear traditional clothes, making the atmosphere even more special. The whole day was also enlivened by a band, whose members included Joachim Pohnke, Plant Manager. During the event, Ilona Gaida, Head of Finance and Human Resources, presented various prizes and awards to a number of employees who have distinguished themselves for particular merits or for their seniority in service.
In his welcome speech, Matthias Leppert retraced the crucial steps in the history of the German company, underlining the key role played by two figures – both present among the guests of the event – who have significantly contributed to shaping the company. On the one hand, the former CEO Klaus Zimmermann, who led the business in the decisive transition from a family business to an international company. On the other, Vittorio Marangoni, who today represents the new generation that holds the reins of the Marangoni Group.
The company was founded in 1919 by Heinrich Ellerbrock, who gave it his name. Initially, the factory manufactured soles for shoes and other rubber items. Despite the difficult conditions of the first post-war period, the business was successful and by the end of the 1930s, already had 65 employees. The factory was completely destroyed in a bombing raid during the Second World War. The tyre retreading activity began after the factory was rebuilt. The first important customer was, at the time, the British army stationed in Germany. The centrality of the tyre retreading business grew over time and was ratified in 1990, with the acquisition by the Marangoni Group. This stage in its history also coincides with the name being changed to Ellerbrock Reifenrunderneuerungs-Technologie GmbH.
In 1993 the company, in order to expand, abandoned its original location, moving to its current headquarters in Henstedt-Ulzburg. The plant covers an area of 26,500 sq.m., in addition to the 13,500 sq.m. of the logistics centre. The introduction of the manufacture of RINGTREAD pre-cured tread rings in the early 2000s, began the progressive integration of the products and the related brands with which the two companies operated in their respective markets.
Over the course of its one hundred years, the very existence of the German company has been jeopardised several times. In addition to the complete destruction during the Second World War, in the 2000s, two major fires caused severe damage and halted production for a long time. However, thanks to the commitment of the employees and the synergies ensured by forming part of an international group, it was possible to overcome these critical times, transforming them into relaunch opportunities. In this sense, the investments made in 2009 made it possible to equip the factory with the most modern technologies in the industry and machinery specifically developed by the Marangoni Group, such as the automated Alpha Ring line.
In 2011, the company changed its name to Marangoni Retreading Systems Deutschland GmbH, thus confirming the increasingly close bond with the group and the significant role in the globalisation of the Marangoni brand in the retreading industry.
In this regard, Matthias Leppert, during his greeting speech, said: “All this would not have been possible without our loyal customers and the knowledge, skill and dedication of the employees. The next one hundred years will be increasingly marked by the need to use our planet’s resources in a sustainable manner. This can only benefit the retreading industry, especially for those who - like Marangoni - can boast of the RINGTREAD System, the most advanced retreading technology on the market.”
“As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said – Leppert continued – when we think about the future, our task is not to predict it, but rather to allow it to happen. It is up to us, therefore, to work on building Marangoni’s future.”
In his speech, Vittorio Marangoni emphasised how knowing and remembering history is fundamental for deciding on the future, especially in a difficult time for the market, which is suffering due to the uncertainty and weakness of the economy, finance and politics. “History – the President concluded – teaches that unity is strength. This is why we are working to build the world’s leading independent player in the tyre retreading industry: to make it possible to celebrate another one hundred years like these.”