Practical Caravan has learned that Kurt Kober, the former CEO of the Al-Ko Kober Group, has passed away. He died on Thursday 15 January 2015 aged 78, after a short illness.

Many caravanners will know the Al-Ko brand as the firm is a manufacturer of caravan chassis and other caravanning accessories, including secure wheel locks, stabilisers and other security and safety products.

The business now known as the Al-Ko Kober Group, was founded in 1931, but today employs in excess of 4000 staff in 50 locations across Europe and America, as well as Asia, Australia and Africa.

Kurt Kober started his training in 1950, at the metalworking shop in Kötz owned by his father who founded the company, Alois Kober. During the following decades, he built up Al-Ko along with his brothers, Herbert and Willy Kober, turning it onto the global company we know it to be today.

Kurt’s entrepreneurial and inventive spirit played a big part in the firm’s growth and consequent success. Just six years after he entered the trade, in 1956, he registered his first patent – the first of around 70, a testament to his life-long commitment to creativity. Indeed, he worked with the firm, latterly on the Supervisory Board, until June 2012.

His interests outside the business and the industry in which he worked included supporting many restoration projects of churches, together with his wife Else, plus he was interested in developing the skills of young people, in terms of training and learning.

The company’s CEO Stefan, as well as Directors Roland and Harald 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.”