Chronicle of the Company Hoevel

From the Postillion to the Manager


A look at the 150-year history of the family business Hoevel




Friedrich Merz, Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages für den Hochsauerlandkreis und den Kreis Soest. Vorsitzernder der CDU CSU Bundestagsfraktion



Dear Fine Ladies and Gentlemen,


The Hoevel car dealership celebrates its 150th anniversary on 05 May 2002. This is already remarkable in itself, because who was active in the year 1852 for the locomotion of humans, belonged to the pioneers. The car dealership Hoevel can proudly look back on a long and traditional history.


Today, the Hoevel company is characterized above all by a broad and customer-oriented range of products and services. Whether new or used cars, whether a network of commercial operations or repair workshops in the Sauerland, Sachsen-Anhalt and Niedersachsen - it is clear everywhere that the company still recognises and closes market gaps today. In the 150 years of its existence nothing of pioneering spirit was lost. Ladies and gentlemen, the Hoevel car dealership teaches us that tradition and modernity are not opposites.


I wish the festivities on the occasion of their firm anniversary a good course and your company also for the future all the best.




With kind regards


                                             Unterschrift von Friedrich Merz
 Margarete Späte




Dear Fine Ladies and Gentlemen,


Dear Hoevel family,


Company tradition carried by the family, expertise and experience, consistency and full commitment, courage and decisiveness in the ups and downs of time are the foundations on which a company like Autohaus Hoevel has been built for 150 years.


It was probably the pioneering spirit of his fathers that led Andreas Hoevel to Zeitz 10 years ago. Today, the Hoevel car dealership is one of the largest in the region with a car service oriented to the wishes of its customers. In addition, the light-flooded house with its diligent and competent staff is a hospitable event location in the middle of the city. People meet at Autohaus Hoevel - an idea of the entrepreneur Andreas Hoevel for Zeitz.


A car has become an indispensable part of everyday life for many people. In the firm conviction that this will continue to be the case in the future and that the love of the profession, the vocation, will be carried on into the next generation, I congratulate from the bottom of my heart on the 150th anniversary of the company.

Last year the sculptor and stonemason workshop Späte - Kayna celebrated its 150th anniversary and so I would like to wish everyone that we keep the tradition of our ancestors, that we give our best in our time with each other and in our own way in order to look successfully and curiously into the future.

                                                                                                                          Margarete Späte Unterschrift
Echart von Klaeden
,,I believe in the horse. I think the car is a passing trend.“




My esteemed ladies and gentlemen,


regardless of what one might think of Emperor Wilhelm II, he was demonstrably wrong on this point. We celebrate the best proof today. While horses only pull a stagecoach in the open-air museum, the automobile has set out on a triumphal procession around the globe which the car pioneers probably did not dare to dream of themselves. Benz, Daimler, Packard - who doesn't know these names?


It is thanks to their inventiveness that we have become so mobile. That it is possible for us to be within a few hours in a place that would have taken days to reach with a stagecoach. And it's much more comfortable than before, even when you're stuck in traffic.


The stagecoach, you can imagine, I don't mention without reason. The Hoevel car dealership, whose 150th anniversary is celebrated today, is also one of the pioneers of automotive history. After all, the founders of the company accompanied the success of the car and promoted it through their actions. The Hoevel family still does this today. Since January 1, 2000, they have opened a branch in my constituency of Hildesheim, among others, and, as far as I know, they operate it with great success.


I wish you with all my heart that this will remain so in the coming 150 years. I wish you all the best, much success and joy for your festive day.


Greetings from


 Eckart von Klaeden



The company group H. Hoevel commits a rare anniversary in these days. The family, the company, employees, business partners and customers celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company. 150 years - a milestone in history when you consider that Heinrich Hoevel was born, Beethoven and Goethe still lived. That at that time, when the Hoevels learned how to walk, Frederick William the Third, king of Prussia, died, and Albert of Saxony Coburg Gotha married his cousin Queen Victoria. 150 years is a rapid jump in time when one considers that one was still dreaming of the first railway during this time and the revolution was raging four years before the company was founded in March 1848 in Berlin.
150 years of Hoevel company are an incredible event considering the fact that a handful of companies are celebrating their 10th anniversary at the beginning of the second millennium, and that Germany is in a severe economic crisis, a time when statistically Seen every 15 minutes a company applied for insolvency and the unemployment numbers - contrary to all political promises - steadily increase.
150 years of family-owned Hoevel, a worthy date to remember its roots. Let us take this as an occasion to pause for a moment in the hard-fought market economy, to remember, to reflect and to set new goals.
1852 Founding of the Company   1893 Taken over by
1927 taken over by  1968 taken over by
2000 taken over by Andreas Hoevel
If one goes into the wide field of ancestral research, the roots of the Hoevel family date back to the 17th century. Probably the family has its origin in the small village Hövel in Hochsauerland, where there is still an old smithy, where probably everything began. Already in 1620, the oldest Neheimer baptism book (Neheim belongs today to the city of Arnsberg) mentions the Neheim mayor Hermann Hoevel. The Hoevels are well-known armors and wagons, weavers and clothmakers. In 1625 the Hoevels moved to Arnsberg and settled here as forges and wagon builders. First they live in the Apostel-, later in the Jägerstraße. About 1650, Johann Wilhelm Hoevel, son of Hermann Hoevel, electorate judge to Hirschberg and mayor of Arnsberg. At the same time, the Hoevels marry the nobility, or more precisely the family of the Electoral Court Councilor Pape. 
Ladies in the carriage, 1904 Klein Jüppa on the right arm
Photo: Ladies in the carriage in the Hoevel Garden below the residential buildings, 1904 Klein Jüppa on the right arm 
In the fifties of the 19th century, Heinrich Hoevel developed a chain forging and wagon building from the already long-established basic craftsmanship in Arnsberg. At the same time, there were the first contractual ties with the old Royal Prussian Arnsberg Oberspostdirektion. The birthdays of today's company group Hoevel hit on May 18, 1852, when Heinrich Hoevel founded a chariot and blacksmith with connected trade. The "beginnings" were the "commercial" wagon construction for commercial and mail and a license as post office. The company based in Arnsberg was first on the former Chausseestraße (today's Jägerstraße), later in the Prälaturstraße. Heinrich Hoevel built mail carts for the Oberpostdirektion and provided wagons and carts for the liner service of the Royal Prussian postal service.
In 1872, Heinrich Hoevel became imperial-royal post-holder and took over the post-office with twelve horses and four postillions in Arnsberg. The postal services in the Prälatur and later Eichholzstraße developed rapidly. In 1878 there were already 16 horses in the Hoevel stables, in 1884 there were even 70 horses. Against this backdrop, the new building begins in Eichholzstraße in 1884. This bourgeois mansion was used as a model house in the city district (Eichholz), later accommodated the Hoevel driving school and is still today a family property.
Photo of the villa - from the book with a blue cover

An important milestone in the history of the company is the registration of the company H. Hoevel in the commercial register. It underscores the economic importance that the family business has already acquired in the Sauerland region. The company already had a telephone, the ninth in Arnsberg - derived from it telephone number 9. Arnsberg was not only economically interesting because of its central geographic location, but above all because of its government seat. The same Prussian authorities and authorities had settled here, and they were busy with the mail. In 1896 Posthalter Heinrich Hoevel was awarded the Prussian Kronenorden for his special achievements.
Unprecedented technical progress was gradually pushing the horse stables. In 1885, the first three-wheeled motor coach designed by Gottfried Daimler. In 1886, Daimler built the fast-running gasoline engine developed by him and Maybach into a four-wheeled carriage and drove the Stuttgart-Cannstadt line. At the same time, the railroad conquered the country. Since 1870, the Post used the railroad to transport letters and parcels to the Sauerland. The technical development gradually pushed the post office around the turn of the century. On April 1, 1912, Postillion Hubert Mörchen sat high up on the yellow carriage of the Hoevel post office for the last time. For many years he had promoted the Prussian post between Arnsberg and Soest. Driven by two "horse stables", a four-seater carriage waggled twice daily over land. 
On April 1, 1912 Postillion Hubert Mörchen blew his last ride with the Arnsberger Postkutsche. On the left in the picture Heinrich Hoevel (with hat), owner of the post office Hoevel.

The last horn signal from the Postillion Mörchen also led a new era: the automobile conquered the country. As early as 1912 Hoevels had the first Benz motor car on the farm and the first "Motorswunder" was able to turn the first laps through the Sauerland mountain. The foundation stone for the business relationship to the later Daimler-Benz AG was laid.
In the first world war the company lost all horses by a disease, which was dragged on by set military horses. In addition, the war bonds lent in patriotic euphoria in 1918 were worthless. After the war began the construction of a large repair workshop. The company Hoevel sold "everything has wheels": from baby carriages to bicycles to automobiles. In 1925 the first American "Pontiac" was on the farm. From the former forging company developed a modern motor vehicle trade with repair workshop. Another hut remained the hauderei (rented car), whose main customers were still the local authorities.

old car truck with two people

After a mechanical engineering degree, Josef Hoevel took over the company on 1 April 1927 from his sick father. In the same year, he married his wife, Maria, who from then on took care of the commercial concerns of the family business. On 1 August 1927 Hoevel signed the first dealer agreement with Auto-Union AG Chemnitz, today's Volkswagen Audi Group. From 1928, two-wheelers and passenger cars were sold to Bayerische Motorenwerke (BMW). In addition to these two major brands, Hoevel also manufactures brands from Adler, NSU and Stoewer.

At the International Automobile Exhibition in Berlin in 1936, Mercedes-Benz presented the world's first diesel passenger car 260D and the medium-class car 170V. This was another milestone in the development of the automobile and had a direct impact on Hoevel's history. On this new basis, existing contractual relationships with Mercedes-Benz were significantly expanded. The horse-drawn carriage was pushed back more and more from the everyday street scene, and gradually the motorized horse-stables continued. From this time on a wide range of passenger cars and commercial vehicles with the silver star belonged to Hoevel. As early as 1936, commercial vehicles such as omnibuses, fire brigades and municipal vehicles made up well over 50 percent of sales. Until the Second World War, the company Hoevel developed into a company whose economic importance in the motor vehicle sector extended far beyond the Sauerland.  
From 1939, the company had to switch to the war economy. Josef Hoevel was indispensable for the management of the company. The medium-sized company was a armaments company in the vehicle sector. The self-sufficiency of the war economy of the Third Reich and the scarcity of raw materials during the war brought the conversion of the vehicles to solid fuel (wood gasifier) into the Hoevel workshops. In the bombing of March 1945, the factory in Eichholzstrasse was completely destroyed. The farm had to be moved to rural areas just before the end of the war.

Restoration  plus document TotalzerstörungIn the autumn of 1945, Josef Hoevel resumed operations. Under the sovereignty of the Allies, German military vehicles were mobbed together from the surrounding fields and forests. In the Arnsberg (Hellefelder Strasse) hall of the "Feldmühle Papierfabrik" (Hellefelder Strasse), which had been confiscated by the Americans for Hoevel, these military vehicles were repaired and converted into life-saving utility vehicles. "Every afternoon, we drove over land, built out of spare vehicles all still usable spare parts. An estimated 200 Maybach tank engines were converted to power units, "Udo Hoevel recalled. As a 14-year-old he made his driving license for cars and light trucks in 1945.

One year later, the site in the Eichholzstrasse was confiscated by the British occupation force. "We had to clear the ground within 48 hours. We really could only pack the most. Valuable stocks, machines and material were flattened by the British together with the rubble of the terrible bombing attack, "Udo Hoevel reported more than 50 years later. The family found refuge in Prussian Königsstraße in a dwelling-house, which belonged to a family-owned property, and dared to make a fresh start here. The living room turned into the office, the sales department and the commercial management were also organized from here. Two-wheeled vehicles were sold in the garage. In 1949 the first new commercial vehicles were on the farm. Reconstruction and expansion were proceeding rapidly.
With the help of the oil multis "Deutsche Schell AG", the company Hovel ventured 1951 a new construction. A particularly "good star" shone in the sky in the Hoevel family in 1952. Josef Hoevel steered the company's fortunes and, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, a modern large-scale filling station was opened at the corner of Ruhr- / Grimmestrasse. With an entrepreneurial vision, one had deliberately decided for this location, the node of the two federal roads B 7 and B 229, and thus also had a strategic location for the further construction of new buildings.
  Photo: Gas station - photographed from the old drawing

In the jubilee year a new hall with office was moved. This hall attracted attention mainly because of its modern architecture in the Sauerland, but it was built as one of the first halls in self-supporting steel-concrete construction. The paintshop and driving school under Heinrich Hoevel were built on the old, traditional site in the Eichholzstraße, which was once again freed by the last Belgian occupying power. Also in the 1950s a second Shell petrol station was built on Hellefelder Straße.

Renowned brands, especially Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union, were again able to produce and deliver new vehicles. Sufficient reasons to celebrate: The 100-year anniversary of the company became a great party. Telegrams and congratulations from the President, Mayor and District Council, from institutions and associations, from contract partners and business friends, impressively prove this and are immortalized in the company chronicle.
Two years later the branch opened in Meschede, where Jüppa's second son, Klaus Hoevel, took over. The construction of the large Hen's dam brings economic ups and downs. A good 60 trucks were sold in the shortest possible time. However, the construction site, suddenly abolished after the abolition of the regional government of NRW, would result in freight forwarders who would not be without success for Hoevel.
After a serious accident by Klaus Hoevel his brother Udo Hoevel broke the economics studies in 1956 and joined the management. He took over the sales area as the front position in the company alone. Udo Hovel mainly used his commercial skills and used the connections and activities built up over the years, which, combined with the time of the so-called "economic miracle", made the company the most important car address in Sauerland.

For half a century Josef "Jüppa" Hoevel was at the head of the family business and, together with his son Udo, led the medium-sized company to economic prosperity. In 1976 the annual turnover reached the 25 million mark limit. Around 1,000 vehicles - cars, trucks and buses - of the brands Mercedes-Benz, VW, Audi-NSU and used cars were sold annually. The three Auto-Hoevel farms in Alt-Arnsberg, Meschede and Sundern had more than 30,000 square meters of commercial space. The company employed 134 employees and 33 trainees (24 of them in the automotive trade).
Not to mention the many awards that were given to him for his services to the economic life in the Sauerland. For 37 years, he was chairman of the Audit Committee of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Arnsberg, he was awarded the Federal Cross by the Federal President. For many years, he was a member of leading committees of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and belonged to the board of motor trade in NRW. But Josef Hoevel's heart also burned a great passion for football. Many Sauerländer "Jüppa" is known as a great patron and sponsor of the Arnsberg football club 09. Here he also held numerous posts from the chairman of the Westphalian Football Association to the chairman of the Kreissportbundes. But it was not only in Arnsberg that he was regularly found on the football field. He was a welcome guest at the Königsblauenschalkern or the Borussia Dortmund, and was sitting in front of the spectatorship at so many national matches of the German national team.
"Jüppa" Hoevel remained the driving force behind the family business. Under his lead was created 1965 the brand new branch enterprise in today's district town Meschede. On an area of ​​more than 10,000 square meters, the Mercedes stars sparkled from now on. One year later, Udo Hoevel took over the management, father "Jüppa" moved from now on as partners the threads in the background. In the 1970s the company expanded. In 1971, a large new building for the workshop, warehouse and administration was built at the Arnsberg headquarters. A supplementary construction with modern performance test stand followed. Five years later the branch business was opened in Sundern.
The changes in the fast-growing automotive industry directly affected Hoevel. In 1975, after the merger of Auto-Union and VW, the business area was expanded to include the Volkswagen division. Already after five years the V.A.G. area became independent and another year later in Arnsberg a VW / Audi hall opened. In 1983 the new Audi factory was built in Meschede, more precisely in the vicinity of the already existing Mercedes hall in the "Schwarzer Bruch" business district - called the "Automeile" among locals. Hoevel has also been loyal to the star since 1912 and built a new Mercedes-Benz subsidiary in Schmallenberg in 1983. Almost at the same time, the Hoevel Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Arnsberg and Meschede were also expanded.
A new epoch leads the reunification of Germany. After the fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989, the Hoevels did not hesitate long and sought a new economic challenge in the former "East". Bachelor Andreas Hoevel - son of Udo Hoevel -
Was the right man for that. He grew up in the parish car dealership, learned the car trade from the pike, and in 1986 he not only earned his master's diploma as a car mechanic, but also a diploma in business, for he studied at the University of Münster Business management, the main focus here was on "Marketing", in addition to the commercial fundamentals. Until the German-German reunification he sold his practical training at Mercedes-Bielefeld transporters and dared after the political and economic turnaround a new beginning. In the Hoevel Family Council, cities such as Dresden, Leipzig, Altenburg, Weimar, Apolda were available as locations for a new car house. The decision fell on Zeitz, a once-flourishing industrial city in the Dreiländereck Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thuringia. "I liked the city right away, its size was comparable to my home town Arnsberg and I was speculating economically on the good location in the catchment area of ​​Halle and Leipzig", reminded Andreas Hoevel of the motivation.
Hoevels acquired properties from the Gärtnerischen Produktionsgenossenschaft (GPG) "Elsterflor" and opened a VW-Audi branch on the grounds of the old nursery on 10 April 1992. On 1 October 1995 a new building of glass, steel and concrete was opened. While an economic upturn took place during the period under review, Mercedes-Benz restructured its dealer network at the end of the 1990s. The number of branches fell from 270 to less than 100 in Germany. Hoevel concluded a merger with local neighbors and sold the Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Arnsberg, Meschede and Schmallenberg on 31 December 1999. At the same time, Udo Hoevel left the company at the age of 70 and handed over the family business to his son - the fifth generation. After a short contract with Seat, Hoevel operates a used car trade in Arnsberg, but in Meschede and Zeitz a VW Audi branch. The city in the south of Saxony-Anhalt developed into the switching center of the traditional family business, which is now home to three federal states.
Request Udo Hoevel: Family Jagiella as a jumping board for Zeitz?

With an area of ​​15,000 square meters, Hoevel not only has the largest car-house in Central Germany in Central Germany, but also increasingly takes the role of a city hall in Zeitz thanks to a clever marketing strategy. What began with performances by percussionists - including his sister Stefanie - reaches today up to regularly recurring major events such as wedding balls, professional information fairs and soap box racing, theater performances, ballet and cabaret evenings, charity events, politician talk rounds, receptions and balls . "As an entrepreneur of a new generation, I am aware of social tasks, and I want to do something for the social life in this city. After all, Zeitz has grown to my heart in the past ten years, "said Andreas Hoevel.

Last year, he faced a new entrepreneurial challenge and acquired a BMW subsidiary in Hildesheim. After the bankruptcy of the resident BMW dealer on 14 December 2000 opened the new car house under Hoevelscher Firmenflagge on 17 April 2001. Senior boss Udo Hoevel provided start-up capital, just like before in Zeitz, and Hoevel was awarded an exclusive contract with BMW and Mini-Cooper. The business in the Harzvorland was very good. In the first year, 65 employees, headed by Dirk Böttger, generated sales of around 40 million deutschmarks. In this short time, Hoevel Hildesheim also became the third-largest BMW service car buyer in Germany.

After the turn of the millennium, the balance sheets of the entire family business have a turnover of around 60 million euros with 170 employees. About 3,500 cars are sold annually. In the 150th year of existence, CEO Andreas Hoevel has a new vision. He has long been selling German cars on the British Isles and stretching his antennae to Eastern Europe.

Much has been said about traditions. But traditions are worth nothing if they are not filled with life and visions, with dreams of the future.  From "postillion to manager" it was a big step in Hoevel's history. A step that Hubert Mörchen would not have dreamed of on his coach box for the last trip. Surely even postman Heinrich Hoevel would have given a lot at the end of his era to be able to look only a century into the future. Unfortunately this is still not granted to anyone today. But one wish remains open for this memorable celebration: whichever vehicle will drive into the future, whether with hydrogen or solar energy, with wheels, on magnetic fields or on inventions standing in the stars, may the name Hoevel always find a good place in the future and follow another chapter in the 150-year company history.