Under its MEYLE and MEYLE-HD brands Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG engineers, manufactures and markets premium-quality replacements parts for the independent aftermarket. The owner-operated company was founded in 1958 as an exporting business and has since become one of Germany's leading automotive spares manufacturers: Wulf Gaertner Autoparts operates in 120 countries across all continents with a range of over 17,500 MEYLE products. They currently employ over 1,200 people worldwide and have built their success on lasting commitment to excellence. Their engineers develop spares which outlive their OE counterparts.
The company was established 1958 in Hamburg by the trader, Wulf Gaertner. In the early nineteen-fifties he lived in South America, where as an enthusiastic amateur racer, he experienced first-hand how difficult it can be to find top-grade automotive spares. Ultimately, this was what inspired him to found the export business which to the present day carries his name and meets the growing demand for premium quality spare parts.
A passion for quality
In its early years the company constantly extended its distribution channels and in 1995 took over the spare parts specialist MEYLE, beginning to develop and manufacture its own brand products. That same year Dr Karl J. Gaertner, nephew of the company's founder, was appointed managing director. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength both in Hamburg and across the world, and now has local subsidiaries and international offices throughout Europe, the USA and Asia.
The key to this success has been their unerring commitment to quality. Their own team of engineers draw on extensive expert knowledge from both the independent aftermarket and original manufacturers.
“Designed and engineered in Germany“
Today Wulf Gaertner Autoparts supplies over 17,500 automotive spares ranging from steering and suspension components, rubber-to-metal parts, brakes, damping components, cooling systems, filters, drive train components, auto electronics and sensing technology. Product development is centralised at their Hamburg base. With their in-depth expert knowledge their own engineers monitor manufacturing processes both at company-run production sites and trusted manufacturing partners. They ensure that the same stringent quality standards are met throughout the global network of production facilities by means of complex multi-stage testing processes which are applied throughout the MEYLE parts production processes. These include analyses of materials, processing and correct product fit. Rigorous initial sample testing is followed by more analysis procedures both in-production and in the Hamburg testing lab and complemented by quality tests carried out by independent organisations such as the German technical inspection organisation TÜV and the Helmut-Schmidt University in Hamburg.
Wulf Gaertner Autoparts first introduced technically enhanced auto parts in 2002 under the MEYLE-HD premium brand. HD parts are re-engineered to provide greater stability and durability than the parts developed by OEMs and vehicle manufacturers. There are now over 700 re-engineered and technically enhanced parts.
Motivation and growth inspired by the employees
As a family enterprise they take pride in a corporate culture based on good internal communication. Flat hierarchies, systematic incentives to encourage initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit are all part of their corporate strategy. The company gives its staff the space and independence to work on creative solutions and constantly refine their products. By enabling their staff to share in the company's success they are rewarded by high levels of motivation and commitment. Employees are granted a share in the profit in the form of an annual bonus which is invested and paid out after ten years. In 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 they were voted one of the best 100 SME employers in the “Top Job” company rating.
The way for further growth and expansion is prepared. To ensure product range development and to meet the requirements of new international markets, Wulf Gaertner Autoparts invests a total of 40 million euros and expands its headquarters in Hamburg-Rahlstedt. The company increased the storage capacity in 2014 by more than 12,000 square metres to accommodate 56,000 pallet slots. A new training facility with an auto lift and wheel alignment equipment, as well as new offices have originated. Currently the Hamburg headquarters employ over 380 people. Trend: significantly rising.