Erich Ermler Jnr.
“Keep your eyes peeled,“ was granddad’s constant reminder. He was an honest businessman and a gentleman. He excelled at metal turning and had a real feel for engines. On the day I received my master craftsman certificate, he sat next to me in the new V-class, nudged me and said: “Erich, listen. This diesel engine is totally silent, there’s no knocking sound.“
I always knew that I would eventually take over our company. I grew up in my parents’ apartment, right above the showroom and workshop. When I accompanied my dad to meetings, I wore my best Mercedes-Benz shirt. Dad’s sense of fair play and courteous manner always impressed me.
As a 12-year-old, I was allowed to lend a hand. I wanted to learn everything a future business owner should know. Günter Gnadlinger taught me how to professionally clean cars. When I finally had my driver’s license with 17, I accompanied my cousin Mathias Lesnjakovic on transports. We were a great team that took care of the entire transport logistics, communication with customers, and their vehicles. During my time at the commercial academy, Gerald Beck assigned tasks to me. I learned to transfer cars from Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany to Austria – flights, logistics, administration, the whole lot.
My hobby then – cleaning cars and showcasing them – is still my hobby today.
On my first day at work, I replaced the right front ball joint in a golden E-class, something I had already learned as a youngster. The customer was puzzled, watched my every move and asked me whether I was new at the company. He was surprised to hear that my very first official task was backed by 20 years’ experience. He smiled when I introduced myself.
Under the watchful eye of my teachers Christian Szankovich, Markus Eder and my dad, I learned everything about our workshop. Neither of them went easy on me. If I rested just a while too long, I had to sweep the workshop floor for another hour – a lesson which my granddad had already taught Markus Eder.
Once I became master craftsman, I focused on commercial vehicle sales and got acquainted with every single aspect of our company. I worked in tandem with Christian Szankovich and briefly managed our body shop. I became a fully-fledged member of the Ermler team. Then and now, we share our knowledge and our passion for new experiences. Over the years, reliable colleagues became true friends and some of them even family members. The youngest of them grow up at Mercedes-Benz Ermler, just like I did.
Outside the usual business, many other experiences shape my life. When I was class and student council president at the commercial academy, I put my ambition and sense of fair play to good use for all. As honorary president of our soccer club and local Austrian Business Federation, I give something back, foster networking opportunities and help create new win-win situations.
Celebrating my master certificate with dad and granddad
Towing an aircraft for a good cause
The Ermler sales team
Erich Ermler Jnr.