STIHL, Virginia Beach, Va., celebrated another expansion to its facility in Virginia Beach on Aug. 10. Completed in May after only five months of construction, the expansion is part of STIHL’s continued investment in vertical integration. The company attributes the success of this project to the close collaboration with its development partners, including the City of Virginia Beach.
Bertram Kandziora, STIHL executive board chairman was present to dedicate the facility and recognize the continued growth and success at STIHL. “While many U.S. companies have chosen to move their operations overseas in pursuit of cheap labor, we have chosen instead to reinvest in our technology, our workforce and our infrastructure here in Virginia Beach,” Kandziora said. “Simply put, we will continue to design, engineer and build the best outdoor power equipment possible for STIHL, servicing dealers and STIHL customers worldwide.”
|From left to right: Christian Koestler, STIHL vice president of operations; Bertram Kandziora, executive board chairman at ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co.; Ben Hoffmann, STIHL manager of special projects; and Fred Whyte, STIHL president.|
The new plant adds more than 55,000 sq. ft. and doubles the capacity of the company’s blow molding operation. The expansion also houses the company’s new 3,200-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art data center, which the company said is the first of its kind in the world to use computer door coil cooling units in conjunction with geothermal cooling.
Christian Koestler, STIHL vice president of operations for manufacturing, said the accessories plant expansion is significant because it represents the evolution the company has undergone through the years, expanding from a simple assembly operation in 1974 to a vertically integrated manufacturing company.
“Unlike many other companies, we have not increased the outsourcing of component manufacturing. Instead, we have taken additional processes in-house to maximize quality, while minimizing material cost increases and achieving delivery efficiencies that make our operation competitive with any in the world,” Koestler said.
STIHL products built in the Virginia Beach plant are sold in America and exported to more than 90 countries around the world.