The First World War shakes the continent both socially and economically. Gottschalk’s company gets into considerable financial difficulties. High inflation, scarcely any jobs, the economy on the floor and problems with infrastructure eventually mean Gottschalk has big problems to contend with. But this is not the end. Gottschalk is well-networked throughout his life and it is eventually his personal connections that enable him to continue in business and set up his company, Fahradteile AG. Gottschalk’s products are well-known, Rotax has long since been used as a generic term for freewheel hubs and so it is to be expected that the company will be renamed. Thus on November 27, 1920, Rotax becomes a company name for the first time. Alongside Gottschalk, the Rotax-Werk AG board is consists of Georg Franz Wüstenfeld, Richard Gottschalk, Ludwig Huber and Franz Windrich.
Production of Rotax hubs is secured and more: with up to 330 employees at the Dresden site, the business is booming. Prestige and success in competitive cycling helps Gottschalk and his colleagues to repeated commercial success. But how long will it last?