Waiblingen, 7/14/2018 | Company press release
Mayor of Waiblingen Andreas Hesky and Vice Mayor of the city of Virginia Beach (Virginia, USA) James L. Wood signed the partnership agreement between the two cities in Waiblingen on Friday evening. STIHL welcomes the partnership of the two most important locations in the STIHL global production network. “Both cities are closely linked to STIHL’s long-term success, so bringing the residents of Waiblingen and Virginia Beach closer together is a logical step. I am confident that it will be a fruitful, long-lasting partnership which is of benefit to both sides,” said Dr. Nikolas Stihl, Chairman of the STIHL Advisory and Supervisory Boards, at the celebratory signing of the agreement. Mayor Hesky welcomed the guests from the USA: “Waiblingen and Virginia Beach are STIHL cities. The company provided the impetus for the city partnership. In addition to this strong bridge, contact between Tallwood High School and Staufer-Gymnasium School has linked the cities for over six years already. The fact that a student exchange program is also being facilitated between Salier-Gymnasium and Cox High School is truly fantastic. Links between the fire departments and artists’ groups underline that the citizens are supporting and sustaining this sister city partnership as well, despite the physical distance.”
The United States is the most significant market for STIHL. Initial business ties were established as early as the 1930s, while the STIHL production site in Virginia Beach was founded in 1974. “We generate approximately 30 per cent of our global revenue in the United States. More than 2,000 employees work at our plant in Virginia Beach. We are thrilled that these close ties have led to a friendship between the cities,” commented Karl Angler, STIHL Executive Board Member for Finance and long-standing Management Board Member at STIHL Inc. in the United States. STIHL Inc. is currently investing 25 million euros in a new administrative building in Virginia Beach.
“Sister city partnerships are an important component in strengthening our global relationships and expanding ties between people from different cultures,” said Dr. Nikolas Stihl on the occasion of the signing. Karl Angler emphasized: “Especially in these turbulent times, it is particularly important to strengthen and build upon our transatlantic friendship. At STIHL we stand for mutual appreciation, close ties and collaboration.” The city partnership has been in place since 2017, and since 2012 Waiblingen and the USA have been linked by a student exchange which STIHL supports financially. The signing ceremony celebrated last year’s countersigning in Virginia Beach to initiate the agreement.