Home » Issue 27-2023 » Service & Sales » Grown together: Agrartechnik Vertrieb Sachsen GmbH

Grown together

For 25 years, Agrartechnik Sachsen and HORSCH have been co-operating successfully. Dr. Marcus and Ralph Bertelsmeier, the sons of the company founder, remember the beginnings, look back on the milestones of the co-operation and talk about the challenges of the future.

Common values, thinking “big” and bold visions are the basis of the long-time business relationship between the family-run companies HORSCH and Agrartechnik Sachsen.

Their shared history started with the German reunification. Until then, the agricultural machinery manufacturer HORSCH was operating only at one site, the company headquarters in Schwandorf, Bavaria. Various agricultural machines and devices were produced in simple workshops and marketed exclusively through direct sales. At that time, Bernhard Bertelsmeier earned his money as an employed managing director of an Eastern Westphalia agricultural machinery dealer. With the fall of the Berlin wall, Michael Horsch as well as Bernhard Bertelsmeier recognised the opportunities hidden in the large agricultural structures of the former GDR. While, in 1990, Bertelsmeier ventured taking the step to self-employment and founded his own agricultural trading company Agrartechnik Sachsen, Michael Horsch realised his vision of larger working widths for international markets, also with an eye on the New Laender. “After the fall of the Berlin wall, HORSCH was one of the first manufacturers of tillage machines and seed drills to recognise the potential of agriculture in East Germany”, Marcus Bertelsmeier (49) points out.


"The families Bertelsmeier and Horsch have been connected by a close and trusting partnership for 25 years. Professional agricultural machinery dealers such as Agrartechnik   Sachsen are important partners for us."
HORSCH management

From scratch

His father built up his own company from scratch. He rented the premises of the local agricultural production co-operative and started with two employees and Fiatagri as his main supplier. “Right from the start, our father’s objective was to create large sales structures. And he selected the other suppliers accordingly. In the first years, he provided service by means of partnerships with agricultural co-operatives that at that time had their own, large workshops”, Marcus Bertelsmeier remembers. The company grew steadily so that the Ebersbach site was purchased in the mid-1990s, and the decision was taken to organise service with own branches in the future. In the meantime, the company had grown to six suppliers and 25 employees.
In 1994, Bernhard Bertelsmeier already opened the second branch and in 1998, the third branch was inaugurated. The co-operation with HORSCH began in the same year. “The company of that time can no longer be compared with the company of today. HORSCH employed approx. 80 people, today there are more than 3 000 employees worldwide. And the variety of products and the machines were much smaller. At that time, HORSCH was changing its strategy from selling directly to selling via sales partners and was looking for the right partners. We became one of the first HORSCH sales partners“, Bertelsmeier proudly states.
“Among others, we have to thank Wolfgang Kutschenreiter for this co-operation”, his brother Ralph remarks. In the 1980s and 1990s, Kutschenreiter was a well-known figure in the agricultural machinery sector. He held various management positions in marketing and sales throughout Europe and later helped shape the agricultural machinery sector as a freelance strategic consultant. “Our father met him during his time as managing director of Fiatagri Germany. He was the one who drew the attention of the Horsch family to us and established the contact”, Marcus Bertelsmeier says.

Agrartechnik Vertrieb Sachsen GmbH




Owners & managing directors

Dr. Marcus Bertelsmeier (sales, workshops, spare parts), Ralph Bertelsmeier (finances, marketing, HR)


150, among them 22 apprentices (agricultural and construction machinery mechatronics engineer, logistics specialist, industrial management assistant)

Range of services

Sales of new and second-hand agricultural machines, workshop services, spare parts service with a stock worth 10 million €, rental machines

Sales area

40 000 km², southern Brandenburg to the Leipzig-Chemnitz line and to the Czech border, branch network with 7 own branches and 2 partners as service centres


New Holland, HORSCH, JCB, Strautmann, Krone, Annaburger, Holmer, GEA, patura, Grimme

Customer structure

Large arable farms and agricultural co-operatives with several 1 000 ha on the fertile soils of the Lommatzscher Pflege, smaller grassland-oriented dairy farms in the Erzgebirge and the Zittauer Gebirge, mixed farms on light soils around Leipzig and in East Saxony as well as contractors


Bernhard Bertelsmeier was invited by HORSCH and visited the company headquarters Gut Sitzenhof together with his sales team and his elder son Marcus who at that time still was a student of agricultural sciences. “We were particularly impressed by the new training centre, the FITZ training centre (Farming Innovation Training) which had just been finished”, the current managing director remembers. “At that time, this was unparalleled in the agricultural machinery sector and very unconventional, but in retrospect it was absolutely forward-looking and the right strategy. HORSCH understood very early how important consulting, training and further and advanced training are and that a platform was required for the mutual exchange of knowledge and experience with customers and partners. The fact that this was more important to the Horsch family than a prestigious production hall, convinced our father and he decided in favour of the co-operation”, Marcus Bertelsmeier explains. Moreover, HORSCH step by step developed a product range of efficient agricultural machines for international markets which was also ideal for arable farming in East Germany. “This opened the door for us to arable farms that so far had not figured among our customers. I think the first HORSCH machine we sold was an Airseeder CO 6 with 6 m working width“, Marcus Bertelsmeier remembers.

In 1999, his father invested in another branch. This was followed by a phase of consolidation with comprehensive modifications and new buildings on the premises in Ebersbach. This also included the creation of the first own training facilities. By the company’s 10th anniversay, Agrartechnik Sachsen was firmly established. At the same time, there had been several changes at the main supplier and the company now sold New Holland tractors and harvesters.
Building the second German HORSCH plant in Ronneburg in 2007, was very important for the co-operation with HORSCH. “The expansion of production eased the delivery situation, but above all, with the Thuringian site, HORSCH clearly committed itself to the New Laender. This helped us a lot“, Marcus Bertelsmeier who had joined his parents‘ company three years earlier, comments.
“The next major growth stage started in 2009 and is also closely linked to HORSCH. Their marketing concept at that time with machine demonstrations was absolutely innovative and unique. So we invested in demonstration machines and employed our first demonstration driver. This HORSCH strategy, too, worked. Today, demonstrations are our most important marketing tool, and we employ four demonstration drivers”, Ralph Bertelsmeier (42) explains. He has been working in the company since 2012 and among others is responsible for marketing.


The company founder Bernhard Bertelsmeier died in 2014 and his sons took over the management together - Marcus is responsible for the operative and Ralph for the commercial sector. They continued with the planned projects. Among them figures the building of an own technology and training centre in Ebersbach that was inaugurated on the occasion of the 25th company anniversary. “At our headquarters, we annually train more than 350 users as well as our own sales and workshop staff. In my opinion, this is more important today than ever. The technology becomes more and more powerful, complex and correspondingly valuable. User trainings in the sectors machine adjustment, maintenance and care are important to make sure the customer achieves top work results. Establishing machine demonstrations and own training is the basis of our company’s success and closely connected to our partner HORSCH”, Ralph Bertelsmeier emphasises.
In his opinion, the launch of the universal seed drill Pronto DC in 2002 was a breakthrough: “The 6 m version is our topseller – with around 250 units sold in our sales area. The working width is the most widespread among our customers, although it is already moving towards 9 m.” he says. In 2022, the turnover achieved by Agrartechnik Sachsen amounted to 70 million € - 40% of it was achieved with New Holland and 20% with HORSCH. “Taken this into account, HORSCH is our most important supplier after New Holland”, Ralph highlights. The product range including tillage machines, crop care sprayers and seed drills as well as hoes and harrows in various working widths and specifications is extremely wide and provides the appropriate solution for every customer and any site. They also benefit from the excellent reputation of the strong HORSCH brand in the second-hand machinery sector.

"After the fall of the Berlin wall, HORSCH was one of the first to recognise the potential of East German agriculture."
Marcus Bertelsmeier

"The technology is increasingly powerful, complex and correspondingly valuable. User trainings with regard to machine adjustment, maintenance and care is important to ensure that the customer achieves top work results."
Ralph Bertelsmeier

Direct exchange

“Apart from the product, we as a sales partner attach major importance to reliable contacts and in this respect, we benefit from the consistency of the family company HORSCH. In some cases, we still work with the same contacts as we did 25 years ago. Our father and the Horsch family had a good relationship. Then as now, there is an intensive and direct exchange between our companies and we are supported at all levels“, Marcus Bertelsmeier is full of praise for the co-operation and his brother summarises: “HORSCH is a very innovative yet down-to-earth company that mainly is supported by the visionary and committed nature of the family members. They constantly pursue new topics and the Horsch and Leeb families always think one and two steps ahead. This also sets HORSCH apart from the competitors.”