- Biggest investment in VIKING´s history: €22.8 million for new building
- Production and engineering facilities to be expanded
- 100 new jobs created
The figures by themselves are impressive: an investment volume of €22.8 million, 20,000 square meters of additional floor space and 100 new jobs. The three figures describe the STIHL Group's biggest building project to date at VIKING GmbH's location in Langkampfen, Austria. The official groundbreaking ceremony took place on Friday, September 29 – the new facilities are scheduled for completion at the end of 2018.
The main aim of the ambitious project is to eliminate existing capacity bottlenecks and create optimum preconditions for further growth. "In addition to its efficient production shop, the buildings will accommodate engineering and prototyping departments, the electrical laboratories, endurance testing rooms as well as a modern apprentice workshop", explained Dr. Nikolas Stihl, chairman of the STIHL advisory and supervisory boards. He called the upcoming activities "a milestone" in the company's history and a demonstration of the STIHL Group's clear commitment to the Langkampfen location.
There are no signs of an end to the favorable development, stressed VIKING general manager Dr. Peter Pretzsch: "We are convinced that our premium garden tools will continue to assert themselves on the market." VIKING GmbH has been part of the STIHL Group since 1992. It produces and distributes mainly premium garden tools. Moreover, a large proportion of the STIHL cordless electric product line is assembled in Austria.
Apart from the new buildings, there are further changes on the horizon: As from 2019, the entire VIKING product line will be distributed exclusively under the STIHL brand name. "This decision is right and logical. VIKING is one of the few manufacturers in the industry to offer such a broad range of garden tools – from the consumer sector to the professional sector. And all in premium quality", said STIHL executive board chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora at the groundbreaking ceremony. In the future, the facility will be the competence center for walk-behind and ride-on garden tools, manufacture products and develop them in collaboration with the STIHL founding company in Waiblingen.
Furthermore, he explained that VIKING is a forerunner in the area of "connected products" and presented a world first in June in the form of its iMow TeaM. The company expects the change in brand to produce a considerable increase in unit sales and turnover and further growth across the whole Group. "Langkampfen is and will continue to be a constituent part of STIHL‘s worldwide manufacturing network and play an important role as a location, emphasized Dr. Kandziora.