History of the FUCHS Group
Exceptional companies often have their roots in a personality that recognizes developments and opportunities earlier than others. Rudolf Fuchs was just such a person. He quickly realized that increasing mobilization, based on the unstoppable victory march of the combustion engine, offered a unique opportunity. Not only did these machines require more and more lubricants, they also needed ever more efficient lubricants. Rudolf Fuchs chose to focus his efforts on this demand. From the very beginning, the idea behind FUCHS was to give this ever-growing number of oil-hungry machines the best possible nourishment. The focus on lubricants was a far-sighted decision – and the beginning of an extraordinary success story.
FUCHS was founded in 1931 in the heart of the industrial German city of Mannheim, a city that can justifiably claim to be the cradle of motorization. This is where Karl Drais invented the Draisine, the forebear of the bicycle; this is where the first automobile built by Carl Benz rolled through the streets in 1886; this is where the legendary Lanz Bulldog agricultural machine was developed. FUCHS was profoundly shaped by this proximity to Europe's finest engine builders, as well as by the great German tradition of technology and engineering. Our company was also driven by an immense impulse to research and develop from the very beginning, by the untiring pursuit of ever better solutions. The pursuit of lubricants that could turn the "problem" of friction into a real success factor for machines, products and processes.
The fact that company founder Rudolf Fuchs also had a very calm and modest side alongside his courage and far-sightedness proved vital. He was distinguished by his down-to-earth nature. He was always more interested in "we" than "I", and did not hesitate to personally cycle through Mannheim with an oil can if a customer urgently needed lubricant. Precisely this spirit is why the principle of the entire team rolling up its sleeves and getting its hands dirty has always been just as fundamental a part of the FUCHS culture as the loyal and trusting relationship we foster with our employees, partners and customers. This is the source for the exceptional personal commitment – which also stretches the company's actual business. Promoting culture and accepting social responsibility have been and remain key issues for FUCHS.
A historic overview
In 1931, Rudolf Fuchs founds his import and distribution company for high-quality refinery products. Around 20 years later, the first deliveries to foreign countries take place. Cross-border business relations quickly gain in importance to the company. In the 1960s, international markets are increasingly tapped into. The 1970s and 1980s are characterized by two developments: specialization and expansion. The diversity of the company's product range is continuously expanded and matched to the individual needs of our partners. Acquisitions of shareholdings, company takeovers and new company foundations around the globe are the expression of a successful business strategy. At the start of the 1990s, all activities are focused on the core business: lubricants. Western Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific become the markets generating the highest revenue. Today, FUCHS PETROLUB SE in Mannheim sits at the head of the Group with listings on both the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges.
Milestones in the 85-year FUCHS history
Foundation of the RUDOLF FUCHS company in Mannheim. Import and distribution of high-quality Pennsylvanian refinery products. Establishment of a regional engine oil business.
Start of own production and opening of the first representative office in Munich.
Outbreak of WW2. Import stop for Pennsylvanian oils. Loss of traditional oil suppliers. Relocation to the Mannheim industrial port.
End of WW2. Sales revenues hit an all-time low.
Focus on supplying industry for the reconstruction.
FUCHS lubricants used on German racing circuits for the first time.
Foundation of FUCHS LUBRITECH.
More than 200 employees for the first time.
Death of company founder Rudolf Fuchs.
Foundation of a limited partnership.
Dr. Manfred Fuchs takes over at the head of the company.
First steps of company internationalization through establishment of subsidiaries in France and Spain.
FUCHS specializes its product portfolio. In Mannheim, 33 employees now work in research, development and quality assurance.
The company becomes a corporate group. Strong expansion through acquisitions and mergers in the period from 1972 to 1991.
50th company anniversary. The company has developed into a diversified Group with 80 production and trading companies.
FUCHS launched on the stock exchange. Listing of preference shares on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges.
Following lubricant acquisitions, FUCHS invests in technological and distribution integration measures, as well as exploiting synergy and rationalization potential. Focus on the lubricant business.
A new FUCHS logo for the entire Group. The modern, dynamic logo is an important step toward integration of the individual entities.
FUCHS PETROLUB is the largest independent supplier of lubricants. Worldwide sales revenues are €900 million with around 4,000 employees.
Stefan Fuchs becomes Chairman of the Executive Board. Dr. Manfred Fuchs, who headed the company for 41 years and led it into the elite group of global lubricants manufacturers, leaves the Executive Board and is succeeded by his son.
FUCHS celebrates its 75th birthday. With over 4,000 employees worldwide at around 60 operating units, the Group generates sales revenues of €1.2 billion.
Inclusion of the preference shares in the MDAX on June 23, 2008.
FUCHS commits to a "Code of Responsible Conduct for Business".
FUCHS looks back over 80 years of success.
FUCHS PETROLUB AG changes its corporate form to a European Company (Societas Europaea): FUCHS PETROLUB SE
For the first time, FUCHS generates sales revenues of €2 billion.
FUCHS launches the largest investment program in the company's history. By 2018, € 300 million will be invested in a global growth initiative.
Dr. Manfred Fuchs stepped down from his position in the company after 54 years. He transformed a regional lubricants manufacturer into a global market and technology leader. Dr. Susanne Fuchs is elected to the Supervisory Board as successor to Dr. Manfred Fuchs.