The 1990s were a time of optimism and opportunity following the reunification of the two di-vided German states, the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany). The Rekers family of entrepreneurs from Spelle was among those recognizing the opportunities that began to emerge on the Eastern German market and invested in the con-struction of a new precast concrete plant in Groß Ammensleben around 20 km to the north of Magdeburg.
On the occasion of the plant’s 25-year anniversary on September 8, 2017, the management and several guests of honor including Thomas Webel (CDU), Minister for Regional Development and Transport, Manfred Behrens (CDU), member of the Bundestag, and Erika Tholotowsky, mayor of Groß Ammensleben, evoked memories of the plant’s early years and subsequent development.
In his speech, managing director Christof Rekers said that the Rekers family had taken no small risk at the time by making such a large investment in the new location. Just a fraction of the money invested had been covered by equity. The expectations proved to be justified in the end, however, and thanks to entrepreneurial skill, the investment in the plant turned into a story of success. “This is quite remarkable. It is not a given that a plant is successful in the market even 25 years after the reunification,” said Rekers, hinting at numerous businesses established in the 1990s that did not manage to survive until today.
2,500 garages per year
On the company site in Groß Ammensleben, which initially covered approx. 25 ha including a floor space of approx. 1 ha, Rekers employed a staff of approx. 60 at the beginning of the 1990s producing around 160 t of structural precast concrete elements and 6,000 m² of pavers per day. The production of concrete products was discontinued after the end of the boom that marked the initial years after the reunification.
The floor space has since grown to a size of 3.4 ha, and Rekers employs a staff of 101 at the location today producing up to 2,500 residential garages, up to 30,000 L-shaped retaining wall elements, up to 75,000 t of walls and slabs per year plus additional bar products such as girders, beams, pillars, foundations, PI slabs and prestressed girders. With these products, the team generates an annual turnover amounting to €20 million.
New type of garage to be produced
It is intended to expand production in Groß Ammensleben by a new type of residential garage in 2018. The door of this large-door garage will be located on the transverse side of the garage so that two cars can drive in next to one another. As identical modules, it is also possible to combine any number of garages, for example, by arranging them behind one another and then connecting them to form a larger unit.
In addition to the plant in Groß Ammensleben, Rekers Betonwerk GmbH & Co. KG operates the main plant in Spelle, as well as plants in Gelsenkirchen and in Ochenbruck near Nurem-berg. The Polish subsidiary, Rekers Polska, is based in Olszowa.
Altogether, Rekers Betonwerk GmbH & Co. KG currently employs a total staff of 710. The range of products includes residential garages, retaining wall elements, structural precast concrete elements, pavers, garden paving slabs and tunnel lining segments. The overall performance of the entire company, according to Rekers, amounts to €130 million.
Text: Christian Jahn, M. A.