GROW. 100 Years of Growth

100 Years of Growth: The FRICKE Group celebrates its 100th anniversary

This year marks 100 years of the Heeslingen-based company. Founded as a small village blacksmith’s shop in 1923, the family business has since developed into an internationally successful and forward-thinking group of companies active in the heavy-duty sector. The family business - now in its third generation - marked this special anniversary together with around 1000 invited guests at a celebratory gala on 9th March 2023. ‘GROW - 100 years of growth’ was the event’s slogan, and the focus of the evening was the FRICKE Group’s continuous development.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Heeslingen-based FRICKE Group. The Fricke family celebrated this special company anniversary together with almost 1000 invited guests from the industry at a gala on 9th March. The event’s slogan was ‘GROW - 100 years of growth’, and the focus of the evening was the history of this successful family business and its outlook for the future.

TV presenter Barbara Schöneberger hosted the event together with managing directors Hans-Peter Fricke and Holger Wachholtz, as well as Kirsten Fricke. Philipp and Adrian Fricke - the fourth generation of the family business - also shared their vision for the future of the FRICKE Group with their guests. A keynote speech by former German Vice Chancellor Joschka Fischer provided interesting insights into the current foreign and domestic policy challenges and the opportunities they offer. Fischer then opened these topics, plus the future of the industry, up for discussion with other notable guests in a subsequent round of talks. These guests included former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, CEO of DLG Holding Freya von Czettritz, CLAAS Group board member Jan-Hendrik Mohr, and CEO and founder of Spryker Systems Alexander Graf. To top the evening off, international star violinist David Garrett played an exclusive concert for the business partners, customers, political guests and colleagues in attendance.

GROW – 100 Years of Growth

One hundred years ago, Dietrich Fricke laid the foundations for the FRICKE Group we know today. The business started life as a small village blacksmith’s shop in Heeslingen. After taking over the business from his father in 1953, Wilhelm Fricke continued to shape its history through continuous development and visionary decisions such as purchasing replacement parts from the discontinued Hanomag production facility in 1972. After taking over the family business in 1992, Hans-Peter Fricke appointed Holger Wachholtz as a second managing director and together they continued its expansion into a multinational trading and service company active in the heavy-duty sector.

Today, the FRICKE Group is one of the largest private companies in the agricultural sector in Germany, and is known around the world for its trade in agricultural and construction machinery, garden and municipal technology, commercial vehicles and replacement parts. With almost 3500 employees and 67 locations in 26 countries, the Heeslingen-based family business has a substantial international presence.

“The 100th anniversary of the FRICKE Group is an extremely personal milestone for me. Looking back at our beginnings and the huge developments we’ve undergone since then fills me with humility. I’m also looking with pride at the future of our family business, which my sons Philipp and Adrian in particular will shape in the coming years,” said Hans-Peter Fricke, Managing Director of the FRICKE Group.

Anniversary weekend topped off with successful 57th Heeslingen Agricultural Machinery Show

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the FRICKE Group, the Heeslingen Agricultural Machinery Show was also able to take place at the company’s premises for the first time in three years from 11th to 12th March. Despite the sudden onset of winter, the 57th edition of the in-house exhibition attracted tens of thousands of Visitors to the locations in Heeslingen, Zeven and Bockel to FRICKE agricultural machinery, FRICKE commercial vehicles, GRANIT PARTS, FORAS, SAPHIR and to the FRICKE used machinery centre. Agricultural and construction machinery, commercial vehicles of all classes, municipal and garden technology, and implements from manufacturers including Claas, Kubota, Stihl and SAPHIR, DAF, FIAT Professional and ISUZU were once again the focus of this year's exhibition. The sold-out FRICKE party on the Saturday evening once again attracted party-goers from all over Germany to Heeslingen.

With a number of activities such as auctions hosted by popular TV presenter Sven Tietzer, an artisan and gourmet market, a warehouse tour, a Weber Live Cooking Show, a Stihl Timber Sports competition, and a Ferris wheel at the Heeslingen site, and a 45-metre observation gondola at the Bockel site, there was fun for the whole family. 100 percent of the proceeds from the raffle tickets sold throughout the weekend and from the rides on the observation gondola in Heeslingen will go to Lebenshilfe Bremervörde-Zeven. The proceeds from the rides on the Ferris wheel in Heeslingen also go entirely to the youth fire brigade in Heeslingen.

“We are thrilled that we were finally able to host the Heeslingen Agricultural Machinery Show on site again this year. Despite our successful streaming events in the recent years, it was something very special for us to be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the FRICKE Group together with the entire region. Special thanks go to all visitors, regional partners as well as all the organizers and contributors, without whom this event week in this form would not have been possible", Hans-Peter Fricke draws an extremely positive conclusion to the anniversary week of the FRICKE Group.