Adventurous dynamics in the car market
The dynamics of the car market at the beginning of the 1990s were powerful. At the start, Trabants and Wartburgs were parked bumper to bumper at the dealership – but they were soon replaced by Volkswagens and Audis in particular. “Demand was huge. But that’s not surprising when you consider that before reunification, people had to wait up to 18 years (!) for a Trabant,” Holger Fischer explains. “There was simply no used-car market. That was pretty odd.”
Autohaus Fischer developed further with each new and used car it sold. The two Group brands Audi and Volkswagen soon became four: In 1995, a dealership contract with SEAT was signed. It was followed in 1997 by a dealership contract for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In 1999, the Volkswagen and Audi brands were physically separated. The Volkswagen building was expanded, and the “Audi Hangar” was opened.
The success story picked up more speed in the 2000s with the acquisition of another car dealership and, in 2002, expansion into a new business region located 17 kilometers northwest of Jena in Apolda. “A Volkswagen partner located there had gone bankrupt and we decided we would not surrender the region to the competition,” Fischer says. It was tough going at the start, but the success proved that the dealership team had been right. “We are quite popular in the region.”
In 2005, Autohaus Fischer began to represent the fifth largest Group brand – ŠKODA, initially as a service center and then with a dealership contract. “The combination of Volkswagen and ŠKODA is really a very good one. You can cover many needs with both brands and achieve good market share in a region,” Holger Fischer says. It was the right decision at the right time, and it gave the company fresh momentum. The family-run business was now well positioned with five brands. New and renovated buildings enhanced the company’s success in subsequent years.
By the time the company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016, it employed about 350 people at three locations. A sixth brand was added to the portfolio in 2019: In March, the company’s management team signed a dealership contract with the sports car brand CUPRA, a subsidiary of the Spanish automaker SEAT.