The Oskar Patzelt Foundation’s “Großer Preis des Mittelstandes” (SME Grand Prix) is regarded as one of the most coveted business awards for small and medium-sized enterprises not only in North-Rhine Westphalia but indeed nationwide. The motto for this year’s competition was “Setting Milestones”. A motto we can clearly identify with after a company history covering more than 100 years. As a family business in its fourth generation, we consciously combine tradition and innovation in a highly specialised product range.
“We’re delighted to have been named as a SME Grand Prix winner. Even more so because the jury doesn’t base its decision solely on figures but on five aspects of successful corporate governance,” declared Managing Partners Roland Lenzing and Mathias Stendtke at the ceremony in Hückeswagen.
A fascination for all things new coupled with courage, foresight and hard work
The NRW state government’s decision to send two ministers to attend the ceremony was a sign that “we see you as a model company that has made a name for itself in the international markets as a technology and quality leader,” Professor Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs and Digitalisation, emphasised in his laudatory speech. He stressed North-Rhine Westphalia’s commitment to electromobility, citing cell research at Battery Campus Münster, activities at RWTH Aachen University, the E-Go electric vehicle and the 60,000 charging stations dotted around the region. “We’re very much indebted to firms like PFLITSCH, who are willing to invest and are open to new markets.”
Peter Biesenbach, North-Rhine Westphalian Minister of Justice, stressed the courage, foresight and sheer hard work of the Pflitsch family as well as the company’s Managing Directors past and present and also its employees; after all, as the long-serving member of parliament for the Hückeswagen constituency, he could almost be described as a contemporary witness. “You’ve always had a fascination for all things new, which is how you came to invent the industrial cable gland, for example.” PFLITSCH’s management insisted on personally accompanying the two ministers on a tour of the modern production facility after the official part was over.
Solutions for electromobility
Nearly 5,000 enterprises were nominated for this year’s SME Grand Prix and PFLITSCH is proud to be among the winners. “It’s an important award and renewed confirmation that our commitment is working,” Lenzing observed. The business is still family-owned and managed to this day and an employer of 300 people, with its own global distribution network. In anticipation of future demand, the focus is now on electromobility as the next growth market. PFLITSCH has developed special cable glands for this purpose, to enable safe current discharge from the high-voltage systems.
Professor Uwe Baake, Head of Product Development at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, treated guests at the event to an insight into the world of commercial vehicles at his company, which is determined to end sales of diesel-powered trucks in Europe, Japan and North America – its key main sales regions – by 2039 at the latest. “We’ve just started series production of the eActros, our battery-electric truck. With a range of up to 400 kilometres and a gross weight of 19 or 27 tonnes, it’s a typical truck for supplying to supermarkets.” A 40-tonne version for long-haul traffic is all set to follow in 2024. “Starting in 2027, a modern hydrogen-based truck with twin fuel cells will be ready for road use too. Ranges of a thousand kilometres or more will hopefully be achievable by then.” He is looking very confidently to the future and welcomes this kind of constructive cooperation with partners like PFLITSCH. “After all, we need innovative suppliers like you to bring our trucks to the market punctually and reliably.”