80th birthday of company founder Jürgen R. Viertelhaus

09 June 2022

Enthusiastic family entrepreneur and automobile fan celebrates with the staff in the new logistics centre WERK II

The company founder doesn’t let that get in the way of his work: Jürgen R. Viertelhaus regularly visits the VIEROL headquarters in Oldenburg. As a passionate foreign trade merchant, Jürgen R. Viertelhaus has dedicated himself heart and soul to his successful family business, which he founded in 1977. On 28 May 2022, he celebrated his 80th birthday – and together with his daughter and CEO Mirja Viertelhaus-Koschig, he looks forward to the future and to the repeated most successful business year in the company’s history with optimism.

The staff surprised the jubilarian with a warm reception in the new logistics centre WERK II in Rastede and presented him with a specially developed and illustrated magazine as a gift. Impressive pictures, funny stories, interesting interviews and personal dedications as well as anecdotes from the employees are the focus of the work – a homage to a special person and his work.

Jürgen R. Viertelhaus’ success story in the international automotive business began in 1967 as the sales manager of the spare parts business of a medium-sized engine and transmission parts manufacturer in Essen. At an early stage, he was also committed to the interests of the industry. At that time, the predecessor of the GVA was the VKG – the Association of Motor Vehicle Parts and Two-Wheeler Wholesalers. Jürgen R. Viertelhaus was already involved in this association when it was founded in 1969. His first association activities were followed by his involvement in the founding of the ATR and AUGROS purchasing cooperatives and other stations in the industry with international connections, including ATR International. As early as 1969, various business trips took the young businessman beyond Europe to what is now Iran, to Beirut, and subsequently to the Gulf States. “Exciting, exhausting but very successful. In the meantime, I have visited a total of 73 countries on all continents several times,” says Jürgen R. Viertelhaus. A strong economic-political commitment to medium-sized family businesses beyond the north-west region was and still is a great need. Social commitment is a matter of course.

Jürgen R. Viertelhaus continued his successful professional career on 31 January 1977 with the foundation of today’s VIEROL AG together with his wife and banker Gerda Viertelhaus in Rastede. In the following decades, there have been many significant milestones that have had a very positive influence on the development of the medium-sized family business. In addition to the successful trading, agency and consulting businesses with a focus on exports, the company switched to its own protected brands in 1998: VEMO for electronic components with a specialisation in important technical areas of the automobile, including air-conditioning technology and sensor systems, and VAICO for engine and transmission components. With increasing economic independence, rapid expansion began in the most important foreign markets. The transformation of VIEROL Automotive GmbH into a joint-stock company, which resulted in greater attention and acceptance on the world market and especially among foreign business partners, was successfully completed in 2002. The establishment of subsidiaries in Singapore and Shanghai followed and played a major role in the economically successful expansion of VIEROL AG in more than 125 countries.

In 2016, the successful generational change succeeded with the handover of the management of the family business to his daughter Mirja Viertelhaus-Koschig as CEO. When asked how the transition to the next generation has been successful, Jürgen R. Viertelhaus answers:  “You try to involve your family, your children, at an early stage – that was already the case because my independence started together with my wife in our apartment building. So the children were automatically involved and later studied business administration, or marketing, with first-class degrees. When a generational change succeeds, that is great luck”. The transition to the supervisory board as chairman also went smoothly. In 2018, his retirement from the supervisory board took place in accordance with planning and the articles of association. “Profitable, well-capitalised and strategically well-positioned, VIEROL AG will continue to master the entrepreneurial challenges in the coming years,” Jürgen R. Viertelhaus is quite certain. “This corporate success is not only based on a multitude of correct and far-sighted entrepreneurial decisions. The expansion of VIEROL AG is based in particular on our qualified, motivated and committed employees, without whom long-term success will not be possible in the future,” says the company founder of VIEROL AG.