Tradition

We transform ideas! The Kohl Group AG - over 100 years in the metalworking industry.
We transform ideas! The Kohl Group AG - over 100 years in the metalworking industry.

1897

Walter Kohl founds Kohl & Sohn in Rodenkirchen near Cologne.

Primarily milk cans were produced.

Today, ten companies operate under the group umbrella in different, but complementary businesses. Customer and market focus, innovation and utilization of all potentials within the Group ensure our clients' success in their global markets.

W. Ohrem at age 18 after passing his apprenticeship examination under the bridges of Paris
W. Ohrem at age 18 after passing his apprenticeship examination under the bridges of Paris

1955

Wolfgang Ohrem, principal shareholder and CEO of Kohl Group AG, starts his apprenticeship as a toolmaker at Kohl & Sohn.

In 1964, he passes the master toolmaker examination and becomes an active trainer of apprentices.

In 1968, he graduates from night school with a degree in mechanical engineering and takes over plant management.

Interior shot of the Adamstrasse production facility, 1969
Interior shot of the Adamstrasse production facility, 1969

1969

Wolfgang Ohrem uses the entrepreneurial opportunity and buys the company from the founder's son for an annuity.

At this time, there were 30 employees and DM 1 million in revenues.

The company is growing thanks to the specialisation in complex sheet metal parts and innovative process developments. By the late 1980's, sales reach almost DM 20 million.

The Treuenbrietzen site in 1989 prior to its acquisition
The Treuenbrietzen site in 1989 prior to its acquisition

1990

Wolfgang Ohrem again takes the entrepreneurial initiative and becomes involved in post-unification East Germany.

He acquires a majority share in Gerätewerk Treuenbrietzen which manufactures precision mechanical and safety components.

There he befriends and becomes a partner with Volker Kempa who is now a shareholder in the Kohl Group.

Kohl & Sohn at its new Dieselstrasse location in the Rodenkirchen industrial park
Kohl & Sohn at its new Dieselstrasse location in the Rodenkirchen industrial park

1997

The Kohl Group continues to grow. Sales grow to DM 80 million. New business sectors are developed in Treuenbrietzen.

Stanztech GmbH achieves market penetration as automotive supplier for stamped parts and welded assemblies.

The Treuenbrietzen site in 2004 after extensive expansion
The Treuenbrietzen site in 2004 after extensive expansion

2000

Group revenues exceed DM 100 million for the first time.

Treuenbrietzen celebrates its 10th anniversary as part of Kohl Group. The Cologne and Treuenbrietzen sites are continuously expanded and equipped with the latest technology.

"Full steam ahead into further targeted growth," Wolfgang Ohrem and Volker Kempa before the company logo (right to left)
"Full steam ahead into further targeted growth," Wolfgang Ohrem and Volker Kempa before the company logo (right to left)

2001

To secure their life's work, Wolfgang Ohrem and Volker Kempa reorganise the group into a forward-looking structure.

The two shareholders Wolfgang Ohrem and Volker Kempa divide their shares in a new 80/20 ratio. The holding company now owns 100% of the shares in the operating companies and is converted into a public company.

This sets up a good team for directing the future fortunes of the group.

Wolfgang Ohrem still active after 49 years in accordance with his motto: "If you think you're now something, you've stopped becoming anything."
Wolfgang Ohrem still active after 49 years in accordance with his motto: "If you think you're now something, you've stopped becoming anything."

2003

A successful year is completed.

Group sales rise to €70 million. Some 480 people are employed, including 170 in Cologne.

An investment of approximately €10 million in 2003 alone lays the foundation for the next sales target of €100 million.

Eisenach location
Eisenach location

2007

UFE Umform- und Fügetechnik Eisenach GmbH is added to the group as a perfect complement with its production of sheet metal parts and assemblies for industry, primarily for vehicle production.

The group's turnover is now €115 million.

New location in Slubice (Poland)
New location in Slubice (Poland)

2009

A new facility is set up in Slubice (Poland). The Polish company complements the other sites, especially in the area of labor-intensive assembly of modules.

The Kohl Group AG continues to invest
The Kohl Group AG continues to invest

2012

The Kohl Group AG welcomes the 1,000th employee in the group and with revenues of €170 million has the basis for major investments in its infrastructure. So in Cologne, a new 3,000 m² production hall is being built and two new presses have been bought, including a hydraulic drawing press with 1,600 tons of drawing force. Extensive investments have been made in the 10,000 m² site and roads at the Eisenach plant. In order to meet the logistical challenges of the future, a 3,000 m² logistics facility and a 2,000 m²  facility for empty containers are built. Significant investment has been made in machines including a 1,000 ton hydraulic press for tube forming.

The team rejoices about the success

2014

Kohl & Sohn is "Factory of the Year 2014" in the category "Excellent Small Series Production". The jury particularly praises the "highly efficient equipment and production facilities (e.g. 3-D laser cutting) trimmed on small series applicability". Another success factor, the "highly effective shop floor management system of their own development" is mentioned.