The STIHL saw chain production facility in Wil, Switzerland, celebrated its 40th anniversary on September 19, 2014 with representatives from public life. The factory in the canton of St. Gallen has been producing saw chains since 1974 and now exports to 160 countries. In his address before 180 guests, STIHL advisory board chairman Dr. Nikolas Stihl underscored the importance of the facility to the Group: "The chain production plant is of immense strategic significance for STIHL; now as ever, we are the only chain saw manufacturer to produce not only our own power units but also our own guide bars and saw chains. That gives us a substantial competitive advantage." He thanked the town of Wil and the canton of St. Gallen for their good cooperation and said STIHL would remain a reliable partner in the future, too.
The executive board chairman of the STIHL Group, Dr. Bertram Kandziora, pointed out that an ever growing number of customers choose STIHL saw chains – even users of other chain saw brands. Constantly rising production numbers have resulted in steady investments in expansion: "Our two chain production plants now have a combined floor area of almost 65,000 square meters."
The general manager of the chain facility, Joachim Zappe, thanked the STIHL partners for their unreserved support of the location over the past forty years and the very close coopera-tion.
Heidi Hanselmann, president of the canton of St. Gallen, paid tribute to the accomplishment chain production plant: "You started your company with a staff of six and two machines. Today, STIHL is one of the largest and most important private-sector employers in the canton of St. Gallen." As a sign of the company's close ties with the district, Dr. Nikolas Stihl presented a cheque to the Hof zu Wil foundation. The SFR 40,000 donation goes towards preservation of the town's landmark: the historic building of the Hof zu Wil is being restored. Susanne Hartmann, Wil's mayor and president of the Hof zu Wil foundation emphasised the close relations between the town and the company: "Having the company's domicile in Wil underscores the significance of the town as a many-faceted and dynamic business location. In this spirit, each and every one of the countless high-quality STIHL chains shipped from here all over the world carries a little bit of Wil in it."
In its 40-year history the chain production plant has grown from a six-man business to a company in two locations which now employ about 900 men and women. The second pro-duction plant was opened in 2008 in Bronschhofen, not far from Wil and also in the canton of St. Gallen. The staff from both locations has already celebrated the anniversary at a gala on 30th August 2014 with more than 1,000 guests.