2016-06-20 / News

50 years of Ensinger: built to last

In 1966, Wilfried Ensinger started up his own business in a garage. It was barely long enough to enable extrusion of fibre-reinforced plastics on the two home-made facilities. Before a strand reached the other side of the road it was sawn off with a hand saw. Wilfried Ensinger's wife Martha then brought the finished products to the station in a child's pram – up until the point when it collapsed under the load. When this happened the company founder viewed it as a good sign: "Things are on the up!"


Close friend of the family: Former Federal President Horst Köhler offered his congratulations on the success story.

"Major lifetime achievement"

What started small is now a global player with more than 2,300 employees worldwide and a turnover of 391 million euros. On 17 June, together with employees from the whole world, long-standing business partners and guests of honour from the fields of politics and industry, the family business began the anniversary celebrations with an atmospheric opening ceremony. Guest speaker Prof. Dr. Berthold Leibinger, former CEO of the Trumpf Group, paid tribute to Wilfried Ensinger as a "Leading figure for small- and medium-sized companies". Together with his wife Martha, he said, he had achieved something major during his lifetime.

Visibly moved: Company founders Wilfried and Martha Ensinger.

Family business as a model for success

Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler, former German Federal President and a close friend of the family, used his speech as an opportunity to congratulate "everyone who has contributed to the success story". Ensinger, he said, was unique and yet also typical of the success story of small- and medium-sized family businesses which Germany owes a lot to. Their ideas and willingness to take risks were "crucial factors in economic success and social cohesion. After all, these companies safeguard prosperity and offer millions of people training, work and an income."

What winners look like: Ensinger Italia won the Ensinger Cup.

Italy wins the trophy

The following day, the focus was on the employees of the family business. Around 1,300 guests from all over the world had travelled to attend what was the biggest event since the company was founded. Alongside the German workforce and their families, employees from the subsidiaries were also invited. Things kicked off with the tradition-steeped Ensinger football cup. The final saw Ensinger Italia beat the team from the parent plant in Nufringen after penalties.

By just the 2nd song there was no stopping them: the lively celebrations continued until late into the night.

In the evening the staff continued celebrating in the festival marquee. When the cover rock band "Madison Bow" got going, there was no stopping them. By only the second song, whole departments were dancing on the tables. The party did not end until the early hours. Even a company only turns 50 once!

Read also: Ensinger turns 50!