January, 2017

STIHL integrates VIKING and focuses on one brand as from 2019: STIHL

  • "Everything green changes to STIHL orange"
  • Change in brand name to use growth potential under strong STIHL brand name
  • Employment at VIKING plant in Langkampfen to be boosted

As from 2019, the STIHL Group will market the entire product line of garden tool manufacturer VIKING exclusively under the STIHL brand name. The change enables it to concentrate all sales and marketing activities on one brand. STIHL executive board chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora said: "We will take advantage of the existing unit sales and turnover potential of the present VIKING product line under the better known STIHL global brand – internationally." Unlike global player STIHL, VIKING currently concentrates on the European market. The change in brand name opens up the prospect of worldwide sales of the VIKING product line in the medium term.

Areas of expertise of STIHL brand strengthened
As both premium brands have product portfolios that complement each other, the overall product line remains unchanged and will continue to be enlarged to meet customer needs. "By merging both product lines under a single brand name, we create greater transparency and easier orientation for servicing dealers and customers. Apart from that, we extend the assortment competence of the STIHL brand", stressed Norbert Pick, executive board member responsible for marketing and sales. "The company's know-how, development expertise and innovative strength will be improved, which will ultimately benefit customers – in the form of new products and features", said Pick.

Employment at VIKING plant in Langkampfen to be strengthened
VIKING is a leading manufacturer of high quality garden tools which has been part of the STIHL Group since 1992. The product portfolio of the premium brand includes lawn mowers, robotic mowers, ride-on mowers, aerators, garden shredders and motorized cultivators and tillers. They are sold through specialized servicing dealers. VIKING GmbH, based in Langkampfen, Austria, is already an important manufacturing plant for STIHL cordless products. VIKING employs a workforce of 450 men and women. "With this change in brand name we are charting the way forward for further growth in the STIHL Group. The Langkampfen plant will also profit from this. Not only will all jobs be retained, but employment will actually be consolidated", explained VIKING General Manager Dr. Peter Pretzsch and STIHL Executive Board Chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora.

Guarantees, spare parts and service for VIKING products remain unchanged
The coming change in brand name is a strategic decision with a long-term outlook. "There is sufficient time up to the start in 2019 to ensure careful implementation", said Dr. Kandziora. The STIHL Group guarantees that the arrangements for VIKING products with regard to guarantees, parts and service will continue to apply without any changes. Executive board chairman Dr. Bertram Kandziora explained: "Our customers can continue to rely on the time proven services of the dealers for the VIKING tools they have bought."

Back in 2008, the STIHL Group reorganized the product lines of STIHL and VIKING brands and offered all VIKING handheld electric power tools under the STIHL brand name. The result was a significant increase in unit sales in those product groups:

Company Portraits
VIKING GmbH, based in Langkampfen, produces and sells lawn mowers, robotic mowers, ride-on mowers, scarifiers, garden shredders and tillers. VIKING is a member of the STIHL Group and achieved a turnover of € 193.9 million with 373 employees in 2015. Sales partners are service-providing specialist dealers.

The STIHL Group develops, manufactures and distributes power tools for professional forestry and agriculture as well as for garden and landscape maintenance, the construction sector and the demanding private user. The range of garden power tools from VIKING complements the product line. Products are distributed through authorized dealers, including 36 marketing subsidiaries, about 120 importers and more than 45,000 dealers in over 160 countries. STIHL has been the world's top-selling chain saw brand since 1971. The company was founded in 1926 and is based in Waiblingen near Stuttgart. In 2015, STIHL achieved a worldwide sales volume of 3.25 billion euros with a workforce of 14,245.

This press release and pictures are available for downloading from the STIHL website at http://www.stihl.com/daily-pressbusiness-press.aspx

Your contacts:

VIKING GmbH
Mag. Christian Dag
Head of Public Relations
Hans Peter Stihl-Str. 5
A-6336 Langkampfen
Tel.: +43 (0) 5372-6972-267
E-Mail: christian.dag@viking.at
www.viking.at

ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG
Dr. Stefan Caspari
Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations
Badstraße 115 / D-71336 Waiblingen
Tel.: +49 – (0) 7151/26-1402
Fax: +49 – (0) 7151/26-81402
E-Mail: stefan.caspari@stihl.de