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Mille Miglia 2017 mit Kienle Automobiltechnik: 1.600 Kilometer Fahrspaß und Abenteuer
Mille Miglia 2017 mit Kienle Automobiltechnik: 1.600 Kilometer Fahrspaß und Abenteuer
Als Mille Miglia-Hauptsponsor konnte Kienle Automobiltechnik seinen Kunden auch in diesem Jahr wieder fünf Startplätze bei der legendären Italien-Rundfahrt für Oldtimer – und damit exklusive Fahrerlebnisse – anbieten.
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Bodenseeklinkik Dr. Mang

History

Professionally, Klaus Kienle’s roots lie in the Stuttgart branch of Mercedes-Benz – where else? It was there that the highly-motivated 14-year old began his training in 1962 and was later appointed head of the sports car and official state car department with a staff of 85. Despite the tempting offer of promotion to technical manager of the Stuttgart branch, a good 20 years later Kienle took the plunge and set up his own business, initially with two mechanics in a small shed in Rutesheim. “I wanted to apply my technical skills, wanted to breathe the life back into fascinating cars with the help of traditional methods and old master craftsmanship. Back then cars were becoming technically more and more sophisticated, but for me as an auto mechanic it wasn’t enough of a challenge,” explains Kienle as the reasons for his decision.

Word spread quickly in the classic car scene about the excellent quality of the work being done at the Kienle workshop, just half an hour by car from the main Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. The orders came thick and fast and his regular clientele grew and grew, exceeding Kienle’s expectations. His original plans had been to restore one to two cars a year. It wasn’t long before the small shack was bursting at the seams. When a large tuning business in the neighbourhood – including a good-sized showroom   shut up shop in 1985, he leased the premises and hired another ten staff that same year.

In 1989 Kienle Automobiltechnik became the official club workshop for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Club of Germany. Kienle has long since built up a well functioning network for parts supplies by buying up new and old parts, having reproduction parts made, and cataloguing and stockpiling them. Kienle even found himself supplying the main Mercedes-Benz factory with rare parts from his now huge store of spare parts for the 300 models, the 300 SL and the big post-war 8-cylinder cars (300 SEL 6.3, 450 SEL 6.9, 600). Between 1987 and 1990 the staff in Rutesheim grew to 25 – and soon these premises were too small as well.

Kienle had ideas of constructing his own, purpose-built workshop. In 1990 his dreams were realised: Kienle Automobiltechnik moved to Heimerdingen, near Stuttgart. In the business park of this small, rural town Kienle had company premises built with an area of 4,000 sqm that were equally functional and attractive. The steel-frame structure houses an impressive salesroom with a large customer reception area and spacious technical areas, with Kienle’s own body shop, engine and mechanics shop, upholstery workshop and a huge spare parts store .

With ever-fuller order books, an ever-growing stock of rare spare parts, and the healthy growth of the car sales trade, at some point the premises in Heimerdingen reached the limits of their capacity too. And in 2006 Kienle found himself having to purchase further premises – right next to his old ones – to house additional showrooms and a storage area for spare parts. All in all the firm now has 8,000 sqm of workshops, stores and showrooms.

In the functional and airy workshops there are currently 85 staff working on breathing the life back into classic Mercedes-Benz cars. Kienle Automobiltechnik are able to complete around 20 full restoration jobs per year. They also have xxxx large-scale repair orders a year, as well as many, many maintenance and service jobs. Added to which, the workshops also prepare customers’ cars for rallies.

Despite the spectacular way in which the small workshop has evolved into to a very sizeable and successful business, Kienle Automobiltechnik has not lost the character of a down-to-earth, family-run operation that relies on true craftsmanship as its backbone. Kienle’s elder sons Marc and Alexander already share the management responsibilities with their father, thus ensuring that the name Kienle Automobiltechnik will remain a guarantee for perfect auto restoration for many years to come. They are assisted in the day-to-day operations by Jürgen Wernicke, a very old friend of Klaus Kienle’s.

To ensure the perpetuation of his extraordinarily high standards of craftsmanship, Kienle makes a point of passing on the requisite skills to the younger generation: A total of 12 trainees are currently learning their craft in Heimerdingen as future Mercedes-Benz restoration specialists. As a rule the Kienle trainees are always among the best of their year at the guild of auto mechanics.

For they too are guided by the maxim “The Best or Nothing”.

 
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