A DNA is unique, genuine and determines the unchanging nature of an organism. The DNA of Kiekert AG was created 165 years ago in a fittings factory in Heiligenhaus. Since 1857, it has shaped generations of employees and thus the identity of the traditional supplier. With a courageous inventive spirit and precise craftsmanship, intelligent safety locking systems for the whole world have been developed at the German headquarters. The today’s market leader also manufactured systems for vehicles such as the Mercedes S-Class. Today, the locking system of every third vehicle worldwide is based on a Kiekert design.
Kiekert CEO Jérôme Debreu (2nd from left) is proud of the company’s history and the “Made in Germany” label and wants to take the Kiekert DNA to its former strength. “This DNA, preserved and passed on over 165 years, is the driver of our innovation in Heiligenhaus. However, it can only continue to fulfill its function and be successfully passed on to subsequent generations if the body in which it lives and works is preserved as a whole. And a body includes not only the heart, our development, but also the arms and legs that put developments into practice with the right manufacturing know-how. Ultimately, a central brain controls the coordination of all strategic and operational processes. And this brain, and thus the strategic hub, is located in Heiligenhaus,” says Debreu.
An increase of production volume over the next two years by a regrouping of production lines is under way. An extra of 40 million Euros of sales will be located in Heiligenhaus and 150 new members of staff will be recruited. The management is working closely, openly and transparently with the works council on the future plans for the German site. In a genuine spirit of cooperation, joint solutions are also found for different interests. After already securing 250 employees in production last year, Jérôme Debreu, CEO of Kiekert AG, Uwe Höhndorf, Works Council Chairman (2nd from right) and Hakan Civelek, Managing Director of IG Metall Velbert (1st from left) have now agreed on this investment in the German site in a meeting at the end of January.
“Production and engineering need each other, and that closely. Cumulatively, we have over 7,000 years of experience in the Heiligenhaus production workforce. Our local engineers benefit from this, and this constellation is partly one reason why Kiekert holds around 35% of all patents for locking systems worldwide. The entire works council very much appreciates the new cooperation based on trust and the partnership-based dialog with the management,” explains Höhndorf.
IG Metall is also pleased. “We very much welcome the decision to expand the workforce. It shows us that the investments announced by the new management were not empty promises. We are pleased about the trust and about the fact that additional jobs will be created in Heiligenhaus over the next three years,” said Hakan Civelek after the plant tour on January 28, 2022.