The early years
Hermann Kohl founds the Rheinische Press- und Ziehwerk in Cologne Rodenkirchen. The company starts with 10 employees and produces mainly milk cans as well as other smaller house and farm products made of metal. A few years later, propane cylinders completed the range.
Piano saves KOHL
Music has a very special power. It unites people and nations. Today as then. And also in war. Walter Kohl plays the piano. And he was so good that during the post-war period he sweetened the evenings of the British soldiers in the Officers' Club in Cologne Marienburg. In this way he secures his "curfew pass" for the nightly journey home and the support of the occupying forces in the reconstruction of his pressing and drawing plant.
Departure into the technology age
Wolfgang Ohrem buys Kohl & Sohn on pension basis and sets the course for the further success of the company history. The 28-year-old looks back on an impressive career at Kohl & Sohn and is last responsible for the entire production as plant manager. His goal from the beginning is: Investment in modern technologies. And so within two decades he succeeds in building up a successful medium-sized industrial company from the beginnings as a craftsman ...
Class instead of mass
Just six years after the change in management, sales at KOHL have increased fivefold. Wolfgang Ohrem's new recipe is successful: "We do what the big ones don't want and the small ones can't." Kohl & Sohn consistently focuses on small and medium series.
Welcome to Brandenburg
After the fall of communism, Wolfgang Ohrem and his friend and business partner Volker Kempa took over the Gerätewerk Treuenbrietzen, which manufactured precision mechanical and safety components. A short time later Stanztech Treuenbrietzen Blechformteile GmbH is founded. And now that VW has outsourced its small stamping shop to KOHL, Ohrem and Kempa are focusing on the automotive industry with the new location.
Successful anniversary year
KOHL grows and thrives. This year the company celebrates its 100th anniversary and a record turnover of 80 million DM. Stanztech GmbH in Treuenbriezen achieves its market breakthrough as an automotive supplier and in Cologne Rodenkirchen Kohl & Sohn moves to Wankelstraße in the industrial area.
Power of the Group
Wolfgang Ohrem and Volker Kempa are transforming all existing operating companies into an AG (public limited company), thus giving KOHL even more clout. There is now the KOHL Gruppe AG with its companies Kohl & Sohn, Stanztech, GTMB, GTB, GTSE and GTMF. Group sales exceed the DM 100 million mark for the first time.
Off to Eisenach
Wolfgang Ohrem and Volker Kempa continue to focus on the potential of the new federal states and expand the KOHL Group to include the Eisenach site. UFE Umform- und Fügetechnik Eisenach GmbH, based there, focuses on the manufacture of sheet metal parts and assemblies primarily for the automotive industry and perfectly complements the Group's portfolio.
KOHL goes Poland
In Słubice, not far from Berlin, another strategically important location for the KOHL Group is opened. With the latest technologies and machines, the KOHL team can now respond even more specifically to the requirements and needs of customers. Kohl Group Polska's special field here is initially the production of assembly parts and small series. Today, the site supplies complete welding assemblies from individual parts in its own production.
Growth through investment
It seems to be the year of superlatives. The KOHL-Gruppe AG welcomes its 1,000 employee and with 170 million Euro turnover forms the basis for extensive investments at all locations. Cologne, for example, is extended by a 3,000 m² production hall and gets two new presses, including a hydraulic drawing press with 1,600 t drawing force.
In the fourth generation
With the sudden death of Wolfgang Ohrem, Kohl's era of success is passed on to the fourth generation. Andreas Mack, stepson of Wolfgang Ohrem, got to know the company from an early age. The graduate industrial engineer also brings with him professional experience from other companies and has gone through several steps in various companies of the group before moving up to the board. Together with board member Hubertus Müller, who has been with the company since 2009, he wants to successfully further develop KOHL. The leadership duo clearly focuses on the technologies of the future, new industries and new markets.
120 years of KOHL
In September the KOHL Group celebrates its 120th anniversary with all employees and their families. At the same time, the shares and real estate at the Eisenach and Treuenbrietzen locations will be transferred to a new shareholder. This consolidation of the KOHL Group, which has been prepared for the long term, will strengthen the strategic focus on the industrial sector and secure the long-term positive development of the company.