OBITUARY: Dr Bernard Krone; Owner of Krone Group

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On 14 October, long-time owner of the Krone Group, Dr.-Ing. E.h. Bernard Krone, died after a short serious illness in Spelle, Emsland, at the age of 82.

His passing is not only mourned by his family and relatives but also more than 7,000 employees, together with the international agricultural engineering and European commercial vehicle industry. Being in close contact with customers – the personal interaction with the people in the industries – has always been particularly close to his heart.

Dr Bernard Krone was regarded as a visionary man of action. He continuously developed the company and made ground-breaking decisions to diversify the business: In addition to entering the commercial vehicle sector, he established, among other things, self-propelled technology in agricultural engineering and specialised the Krone company in forage harvesting technology. He therefore shaped the corporate group over many decades, developed products and set the course before officially retiring from the operational business in 2010 and handing over the helm to his son Bernard Krone. His most important advice to his successor: “Always remain the blacksmith from Emsland like your great-grandfather, your grandfather and your father.”

He grew into the company from the very beginning. From childhood, he was often allowed into the factory and to visit customers. As a 6-year-old pupil, he told his teacher that he could learn more in the workshop than at school. Of course, he continued to attend anyway, completed an apprenticeship after graduation and then began his academic training as a mechanical engineer in Cologne in 1959, as the youngest student at that time. Three years later he successfully completed his studies and joined the company. His father then sent him to Ireland to spend time abroad. He wanted to prepare him as early as possible to take over the company. In 1970, his father passed suddenly and much too early. As sole heir, he took over the company’s agricultural machinery production in Spelle. His father left big shoes to fill for Dr Bernard Krone, but it was a matter of course for him to take on the responsibility.

In his private life, the father of three and multiple grandfather was committed to the interests of nature in his home region and beyond as a passionate hunter and farmer. Active participation in and promotion of local associations were, of course, an integral part of his work.  

The family, the entire company management and all employees will continue his life’s work with commitment for generations to come.