Just as agriculture is always facing new challenges, the Fricke Group has constantly been evolving since the very beginning. Since its founding as a small town forge in 1923, it has undergone many changes and developed into a European service enterprise with a wide range of products and services. Learn more here.
From a borrowed blacksmith’s workshop to a company operating worldwide, time has brought Fricke new challenges again and again. Today the Fricke Group has 2271 full-time employees, including 196 trainees, in 56 locations in 21 countries.
Hofmeister & Meincke is a traditional Bremen company. Founded in 1908 by Friedrich Hofmeister and Richard Meincke, the company has built up a broad customer base over the course of more than 106 years of corporate history and has constantly developed itself. Today Hofmeister & Meincke is one of the leading wholesalers in the German market for commercial vehicle parts and components with 15 locations throughout Germany.
Measuring 124 meters in length and 86 meters in width, the new logistics center will expand the hall floor space in Heeslingen by 20,000 square meters to more than 50,000 square meters. The hall is equipped with state-of-the-art storage and conveyor technology. The technical highlights include an automatic consolidation and goods issue buffer as well as approx. 3.6 kilometers of new materials handling technology.
The consistent collaboration at Fendt´s success is rewarded with the manufacturer´s confidence. Therefore, Fricke Landmaschinen Hesslingen becomes Fendt´s selected representative in the Elbe-Weser region. The group´s positive overall development lasts and reconfirms Fricke to expand its range of products on offer.
With the opening of independent locations for GRANIT PARTS in Belgium, France and England, the international side of the business progresses. Work with exclusive importers begins in Switzerland, Denmark and Ireland.
The sales strategy of GRANIT PARTS in Italy and Poland requires new locations in each country. At the same time, the area of the halls in Heeslingen are increased by another 3,600 square meters.
An expanded line of products again makes it necessary to increase the area of the central warehouse in Heeslingen. The construction of two new halls follows, increasing the total area of the already impressively large central warehouse by 4,500 squaremeters. Will that be enough?
Whether DAF or FIAT – the capacities of the utility vehicle business in Heeslingen are almost completely exhausted. The question arises of whether opening another location would be the best solution to this, as well. Not much later, the construction of a very modern utility vehicle workshop in Bremerhaven is completed.
The replacement parts business – in particular with GRANIT PARTS – is successful, but also comes with some logistical challenges. A new logistics hall for GRANIT PARTS is opened in Heeslingen and the company grounds are increased by 20,000 square meters. Not only that, the GRANIT replacement parts business is expanded with the new branches in the Netherlands and Austria.
And the company’s locations are again under review. Another service location and 8 additional jobs are created in northern Germany when another agricultural machinery enterprise is set up in Lamstedt in the district of Cuxhaven.
People in Heeslingen have become used to construction sites. As a result of growth in all areas of business, new warehouses and additional office space are created here.
An extensive service network is important for a successful agricultural equipment company. With the takeover of an agricultural machinery company in Winsen/Luhe, Fricke expands his locations in Lower Saxony where he now employs a staff of 10.
Fricke has now had good relations with Poland for more than 20 years, both with respect to production and sales. To expand the longstanding contacts to the Polish market, the company Fricke Maszyny Rolnicze is founded in Mragowo. Since 1999, we have also been the exclusive John Deere dealer here.
Even in the new German states, Fricke relies on loyal customers and good service. While everyone is still complaining about the eastward expansion, the company takes on some of the responsibility and focuses on plans for consistent development in the east. A new business is built up in the industrial area of Demmin, a Hanseatic city and the capital of its district.
The Fricke Group expands its portfolio again when they begin representing DAF and FIAT trucks. Utility and transport vehicles fit well into the overall company strategy. With the construction of a new modern truck service location in Heeslingen, the company once again has something excellent to offer the market.
It is time – Wilhelm Fricke retires from active business life. The management of the company is transferred to his son Hans-Peter Fricke and his partner Holger Wachholtz. Both of them bring important new ideas to the company.
Continual growth is one thing and a company run by its owner is another. Wilhelm Fricke strongly values both. He, therefore, motivates his daughter, Christa, and his son-in-law to join the family business. Shortly thereafter, the Fricke center for two-wheeled vehicles and lawnmowers in Heeslingen is passed over to them and separated from the group of companies.
In January 1989 Hans-Peter Fricke joins the company. Toward the end of the year, as the Berlin Wall falls and ceases to be a focus of terror after more than 28 years, Fricke makes an effort to establish his own location in the new German states. In Vorpommern, or more specifically, in Wotenick near Demmin, a former LPG workshop is found and taken over along with six mechanics. This lays the foundation for business in eastern Germany which becomes a reality just a short year later when Fricke Landtechnik GmbH is founded.
Partnerships and takeovers give way to a new idea. With the takeover of Tobaben Landmaschinen, the long-established firm based in Harsefeld, Fricke expands his capacities and the area he serves. New halls are built, more clients are reached and the team grows again.
To increase sales of used technical agricultural equipment, the company is always looking for new markets. Initial contacts are made with Poland and soon thereafter, in addition to the sale of used technical agricultural equipment (up to 100 waggons per year), orders for the production of pasture rollers are given to the Polish industry. The quality of the products quickly reaches western standards and today the company also has pasture harrows, rotary mowers and farming trailers produced there.
The introduction of the Hanomag tractor production is a bitter turning point for the now large company. But Wilhelm Fricke once again sees an opportunity to develop new areas of business. He buys large numbers of replacement parts from the discontinued Hanomag production and increases his product range. The Hanomag replacement parts make the company well-known around the world.
“Show what you can do, show what you’ve got”. At the company’s first open day, Wilhelm Fricke presents the business, the workers and of course the “stars”, the modern agricultural machinery, to his customers. His agricultural machinery exhibition is a huge success and continues to be held annually.
Workshops, replacement part warehouses and an office are built on the 6000 square meter plot of land acquired the year before. He begins using the new space in July along with the 25 employees that now work for the company.
Wilhelm Fricke doesn’t disappoint his partners. He becomes involved in the innovative harvest market with the sale of his first Claas combine harvester, replacing the old harvest-binders and threshing machines. Not only that, clever as Wilhelm Fricke is, he finds another very lucrative market for harvest-binders: Venezuela. He uses this success to make sure urgently needed expansions of the company are carried out. This ultimately involves providing service for the machines that are becoming larger and larger.
After a long struggle, Dietrich Fricke succumbs to a serious illness. Wilhelm, just 23-years old, takes over the family business. Although he has just finished his training, word has already spread about Fricke’s high standards and the excellent quality of work that the man from Heeslingen delivers. Notable agricultural machinery manufacturers trust the young man and allow him to represent their companies.
The Fricke’s new work rooms are put into operation under the most difficult of conditions. But the family has visions. With the currency reform, Dietrich Fricke expands his business. Agricultural machines and tractors are now part of their product line. In particular, agricultural trailers and rubber-tired field wagons are in demand and are now manufactured in Heeslingen. Help is needed and the work force is expanded to 10 employees. For that time, already quite a respectable size for a company.
The new beginning after the war is difficult. But Dietrich Fricke remains determined, as does his son. Wilhelm, the current head of the company, lends a helping hand. There is plenty to do. The only thing missing is material. With organisational talent and resourcefulness, the two make plans to build a new hall that is almost 240 square meters large.
Dietrich Fricke’s perseverance, as well as his hard work and conscientiousness, start to pay off. Word had long been going around that the young man from Heeslingen delivered good work on schedule. Dietrich can hire employees. Five of them right at the outset. The workshop even becomes too small. With 140 square meters the next work room is quite large.
This is what you call founding spirit. With a borrowed field forge and anvil, Dietrich Fricke laid the foundation for the company. The 26-year young, newly minted blacksmith moves into a small workshop in Heeslingen and offers his services to the surrounding agricultural area.