Practical Motorhome is sad to report that the former CEO of the Al-Ko Kober Group, Kurt Kober, has passed away, following a brief illness. He was 78 and died last Thursday, January 15, 2015.
We are sure that many motorcaravanners will be very familiar with the Al-Ko brand. The company has been manufacturing motorhome chassis conversions since 1979, working with firms including Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Peugeot, Volkswagen and Renault. Al-Ko also sells related products, including air suspension systems, electric corner steadies and bike racks to mount on the rear of your 'van.
Back in 1931, Alois Kober, Kurt's father, founded the business today known internationally as the Al-Ko Kober Group. Kurt's training began at his father's metalworking shop in Kötz, in 1950. Over the next decades, Kurt, and his brothers Willy and Herbert, built up the company, which now employs over 4000 people in 50 sites across Europe, Asia, America, Australia and Africa.
Until quite recently, Kurt was still very involved in Al-Ko, serving on the Supervisory Board until June 2012. In his long career, his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mind were key to his and to the company's success and expansion. Indeed, he registered about 70 patents, the first in 1956, proof of his life-long commitment to creativity.
He also worked tirelessly outside the industry, with a keen interest in developing the skills of and finding training for young people as well as, with his wife Else, supporting the restoration of churches.
The company's CEO Stefan, as well as Al-Ko Directors Harald and Roland Kober, said: "We are greatly saddened by the news of the sudden death of our uncle, who helped to build up our company and who played a central role in making it a success. We have lost an exceptional man who set standards with his dedication to the business and commitment to society."