Tradition without Traditionalism

The story of PE starts on a rainy Thursday morning in the spring of 1940 as the 36 year old Hermann Peters pushes his BMW R 16 motobike out of an old shed in Ennepetal. The machine with a two-cylinder boxer motor is showing signs of age and there are plenty of repairs needed to bring the dusty old machine back to life. Hermann Peters is a talented mechanic and takes the motorbike apart completely to inspect it in detail. During the war, it is extremely difficult to get hold of appropriate replacement parts and it takes him months to collect all the necessary bits. Some are purchased second-hand. Some he repairs himself.

After the end of the war, on the 24th October 1947 Hermann Peters registers what had become a trade in replacement parts under his name. Initially the warehouse was a barn in Ennepetal, but during the course of the year, he managed to move to a location in the representative Lindenstrasse in Ennepetal-Voerde near-by. During the first few months Hermann Peters and his wife Martha Peters handled all the deals themselves, selling not only replacement parts for motorbikes, but also for cars and commercial vehicles.

During the recovery period, the need for replacement parts continued to grow. There was a distinct lack of resources available to all and with a little inventiveness, good sources and the ability to produce parts, the products practically sold themselves.
After just a few years, the company needed to move to new premises with a production hall in Feldstrasse, Gevelsberg in order to ensure that continued growth was possible. Hermann Peters required the same inventive attention to detail in repairing motorbikes and the same high demands of quality and safety of his staff. As a result, the company gained a high level of trust from their customers right from the very start.

With the death of Hermann Peters in 1967, Jürgen Freitag the nephew of the founder took on the leadership and guided the company in a new direction by means of specialisation in replacement parts for commercial vehicles and worldwide sales.

In 1970, the rapid growth of the company resulted in production being moved to “Aufsicht” in Ennepetal, administration and warehouses followed four years later. After the death of owner Martha Peters, nee Freitag, the company was inherited in full by Jürgen Freitag in 1976.

Three years later, the brand PE (abbreviation of Peters Ennepetal) was registered as a worldwide protected trademark. Since then the company has been known under this abbreviation. The Ennepetal site was expanded bit-by-bit in the eighties and nineties.

With the founding of the subsidiary PE Data GmbH 1995, the PE company group lays the foundation for excellent technologies in the processing and evaluation of information.

The start up of a new technology centre in Ambrosius-Brand-Strasse in 1998 enabled product management and product development to be expanded, and new standards were set in purchasing and quality assurance.

With the appointment of Markus Seitz as managing director, Jürgen Freitag successfully kicks off the change of generations in the leadership of the company in 2004.

In addition to the comprehensive modernisation of logistics processes and the increase in size of warehousing capacities (2005), in 2007 a further logistics centre is put into operation in Gevelsberg.

With the transfer of his leadership position to Christian Freitag, owner Jürgen Freitag completes the generation change on 1st January 2009.

The new strategic positioning and the growth of PE are now driven by the managing directors Christian Freitag and Markus Seitz. The high quality demands and the drive to perfect every repair established by founder Hermann Peters still influence the self-image of the company and the PE brand trusted by the industry.

2011. With the change of name to PE Automotive GmbH & Co. KG we synchronise the name of the PE brand with that of the company. The company structure along with the leadership of the family-owned company will remain unchanged.

In summer 2014, PE combines three logistics facilities into a single logistics centre some 50,000 m² in size, thus doubling the net amount of storage space available. In this way, the company does justice to the increasing demands for flexible and fast logistics and is in a position to substantially increase their ability to delivery and the speed of delivery.

On the 1st January 2016, PE Automotive and Bergische Achsen KG in Wiehl joined forces. With this step, both companies have laid an important foundation for achieving their growth goals. Together and over the next few years, the companies intend to considerably expand their offerings and services for the global specialist wholesale market.