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Max Grundig (7 May 1908 – 8 December 1989) was the founder of electronics company Grundig AG. He was raised by his parents in Nuernberg where he delayed his final school exams (Abitur) and completed training as an electrician. In 1930 he and a colleague opened a store selling radios under the name Fuerth, Grundig & Wurzer (RVF), generating one million Reichsmark in sales by 1938. After World War II business expanded with a successful range of consumer electronics. In 1972 the company became a corporation and was sold to Philips in 1984.
His company was one of the first to produce FM radios, cutting out static interference for clearer reception. In 1952, it was one of the first European companies to start producing TV sets.
Grundig built his company up after World War II to become a market leader in home entertainment products and a symbol of West Germany's Wirtschaftswunder. It was only in the late 1970s that it began to lose some of its marketshare as it came under increasing pressure from lower priced Japanese products, and in 1980 the company recorded its first losses.
Grundig's answer to the Asian competition was to form EURO, a common front of European manufacturers. It did not stave off the challenge, however, and the company was forced to close eleven plants and cut its workforce from thirty-five thousand to twenty-nine thousand workers. In 1984, the Dutch Philips group bought out nearly a third share and took over the management.
Colleagues described Max Grundig, the son of a warehouse manager, as a workaholic who made decisions alone and interested by himself in the minutest detail of his business.
"Order is holy to him; it means as much as half," was an official company description of him.
Grundig's father died when he was twelve and his mother had to support her five children on a factory wage.
Young Max started his working life as a plumber's apprentice but by the age of twenty-two had set up his own radio shop with a friend in Nuremberg.
After World War II, he was permitted by the Allies to relocate his business to the Franconian city of Fuerth where he set up his own factory to produce radio parts.
He was married to Chantal Grundig.
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