Waiblingen, 9/2/2021 | Company press release
Norbert Pick, STIHL Executive Board Member for Marketing and Sales, visited the South African subsidiary ANDREAS STIHL Ltd. in Pietermaritzburg this week to get an overview of the current situation on-site and to talk to employees and STIHL authorized dealers in person. The STIHL subsidiary was affected by the serious riots and looting that happened in the area around the port city of Durban in mid-July 2021. “The safety and protection of our staff was our priority at all times. The images coming out of South Africa over a month ago were shocking. We were very relieved that none of our employees were injured,” explained Norbert Pick. The next few weeks and months will be dedicated to building the location back to its former strength. “South Africa is an important growth market for the STIHL Group. We will therefore implement any required investments and steps to rebuild STIHL South Africa. All employees will keep their jobs,” emphasized the STIHL Executive Board Member.
The subsidiary’s warehouse was completely destroyed and its administrative building severely damaged in the course of the unrest and looting. The STIHL parent company in Germany immediately set up a crisis team to organize measures for the protection and well-being of the subsidiary’s approximately 40 employees, in collaboration with Hayden Hutton, Managing Director of STIHL South Africa. The team also developed solutions to guarantee supply of STIHL products to dealers and customers; for example, the company built a temporary warehouse in Johannesburg, and provides accommodation for those working in the warehouse. Thanks to the speed with which these steps have been taken, STIHL South Africa is now in a relatively stable position. “We were able to make the first deliveries to our STIHL authorized dealers at the start of August, thereby meeting the ongoing high demand for our products in South Africa. It is thanks to our employees’ extraordinary teamwork that we were back up and running and making deliveries so swiftly. It is in these difficult moments in particular that STIHL proves itself to be more than just a company. We are a family-owned business where everyone helps each other and is there for one another. And that is something to be proud of,” said Norbert Pick, praising the workforce.