New premises at Gunskirchen


From 1947, Rotax must search for new premises. Reformwerke – expropriated by the National Socialist administration and driven out of its premises – demands their return. The economic and political situation is precarious. Food shortages, and the crop storage facilities these require, make the search for production halls more difficult. Rotax temporarily takes over the Alpenjägerkaserne (Alpine Regiment barracks) in Wels, housing a large number of the machines that are key to its production here. Some of the workshops, however, are able to remain at the Reformwerke site for a while longer. Rotax’ product portfolio soon includes reliable lightweight stationary engines that are primarily used for agriculture, although they are used by trade and industry. These precision-built engines mean that before long, Rotax employees are contributing to the efficient reconstruction of post-war society and the provision of basic services.


Rotax’ planned departure from the Reformwerke site on July 31, 1946 does not go ahead. The engines manufactured by Rotax – especially those for agricultural use – are an essential part of post-war production, and consequently, many Upper Austrian politicians support Rotax’ continued presence in Wels. Rumors about a possible relocation outside of Wels spread quickly among the remaining employees. They were united by a strong sense of solidarity during and after the war, and many hope that their jobs in Wels will be preserved.

Excavation of the Rotax site in Gunskirchen, 1952 (Unternehmensarchiv BRP-Rotax, Gunskirchen)


Rotax finds the solution six kilometers outside Wels. It comes upon two empty halls in Gunskirchen, not far from the train station. A former repair facility, a grain store and good transport connections to the Western railway make this the ideal location for the new business premises. And it’s high time: The expiry of the previous rental agreement and the continued demands of Reformwerke increase the pressure on Rotax's management, as well as on the Upper Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, to which the US military government has delegated the management of the premises. In April 1947, the moment arrives: some of the works and around 70 employees relocate to the new premises. Production recommences during the spring. Thanks to initial orders from the agricultural sector and its continued production of engines, Rotax is able to forge ahead.

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