STIHL Incorporated, the headquarters for U.S. operations for the worldwide STIHL Group in Virginia Beach in Virginia, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary of manufacturing in the U.S.. What began with fewer than 50 employees assembling one model of chain saw in a rented warehouse in 1974 has grown into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The company has steadily introduced new product lines and increased vertical integration. STIHL Inc. has been recognized with multiple accolades for manufacturing excellence, including the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award in 2013 and in 2014 the Plant of the Year award from Assembly magazine. Today, STIHL Inc. manufactures more than 275 model variations, exports to almost 100 countries, and employs more than 2,100 nationwide.
"What makes me particularly proud about these 40 years is not just that we have succeeded but that we have done so by remaining true to our values," said Dr. Nikolas Stihl, who worked at STIHL Inc. as a product manager in the 1990s and now leads the worldwide company as chairman of the STIHL advisory board of STIHL Holding AG & Co.
"The United States is by far our largest and most important market. STIHL is the number one there and the biggest selling brand of gasoline powered and handheld outdoor power tools," explained STIHL executive board chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora. The company is also well known for its unique distribution strategy, spurning mass merchants and selling its products through a network of 8,500 servicing dealers, who pride themselves on providing professional advice, product demonstrations, and service.
"Our initial operation was modest, but through the leadership of the Stihl family, exceptional German engineering, and superior American manufacturing, we have grown into the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America," said Fred Whyte, president of STIHL Inc., during the anniversary celebration at the Virginia Beach headquarters.
For more information on STIHL Inc., please visit www.stihlusa.com.