VALE: DR WALTER W.J UHLENBRUCH AO
Dr Walter W.J Uhlenbruch AO passed away in November 2021
At the age of just 25, Dr Walter W.J Uhlenbruch emigrated to Australia where he built the HELLA business from the ground up, to more than 1,200 employees.
Dr Uhlenbruch was included in the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association Hall of Fame by being awarded the “Outstanding Service to Industry Award” in 1994.
Further highlighting the significance of his contribution to the industry, in 2005 he was appointed as an “Officer of the Order of Australia” (AO), the second highest award in Australia.
“Across his illustrious career, Walter was a former Director, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of fourteen private and/or public companies in the automotive parts, construction, and superannuation industries across Australia, SE Asia, and the US,” HELLA Australia Managing Director, Darren Robinson, said.
“Walter was an absolute gentleman, whose caring, compassion and determination were highly regarded by everyone he worked with.
“Walter’s loyalty and love for HELLA, and the Automotive Industry, remained until his passing, but his spirit remains with those of us who were lucky enough to have met him.”
“With Dr Walter Uhlenbruch, we have lost a true HELLA pioneer,” HELLA Gmbh & Co. KGaA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Rolf Breidenbach, said.
“From the laying of the foundation stone of our Australian plant in Mentone in 1961 until his retirement after the turn of the millennium, he shaped HELLA’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region for more than four decades like no other.
“HELLA not only has him to thank for the establishment and further development of the HELLA site on the fifth continent, but also for the first contacts in the Korean and Chinese markets, which are so significant today.
“The most important element of the HELLA culture is the realisation that people are at the heart of the company.
“This guiding principle of Dr Walter Uhlenbruch was not only ground-breaking for him in his many years of work for HELLA, but also in his commitment to numerous charitable causes.
“He stood up for socially disadvantaged people and was a recipient of the German Federal Cross of Merit as well as the Australian Order of Merit.
“He distinguished himself through his human greatness and his entrepreneurial skills and was not only appreciated by employees, but also highly respected by customers and business partners alike.
“With him, we lose a straightforward and determined personality to whom we owe a great deal. We will always honour his memory.”
The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association and Aftermarket Magazine extends their deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Walter at this sad time.