Waiblingen, September 1, 2022
STIHL is setting the course for further growth and making a clear commitment to the important African market: The company has opened its second sales company on the African continent, in Kenya, and celebrated the 25th anniversary of its sales company in South Africa. “Africa is an important market for STIHL, and we look forward to growing with our dealer network on this continent,” said Norbert Pick, STIHL Executive Board Member for Marketing and Sales, who participated in the ceremonies at the end of August, together with employees, dealers, service providers and suppliers.
A Kenya branch was set up in 2017 to offer training and product demonstrations, especially for agricultural cooperatives. “It quickly became clear that despite ongoing promotion activities, in East African countries we were missing a sales structure based on a dense dealer network – one of the key success factors that has made STIHL the global market leader,” said Norbert Pick. Francois Marais, Managing Director of the STIHL company in Kenya, added: “At the end of 2020, we made the decision to continue our investment and expand the branch in Kenya to make it a fully fledged STIHL sales subsidiary with Marketing, Training, Logistics and Sales departments. This will enable us to leverage the potential in East Africa even more effectively.” For this purpose, a roughly 1,000-square-meter office between the airport and the center of Nairobi was rented and extensively renovated, and has now been officially opened. Sebastian Groth, the German ambassador to Kenya, joined the ceremony in person. The new sales subsidiary currently employs 16 people and supplies STIHL products to the dealer network in Kenya, as well as Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. An additional warehouse in Nairobi is operated by Fargo Courier, an external logistics provider.
The South African subsidiary ANDREAS STIHL Ltd. in Pietermaritzburg has belatedly celebrated its 25th anniversary. Events were delayed by a year, and in this case not only because of the pandemic: In June 2021, the company’s warehouse was completely destroyed and the administrative building suffered significant damage during riots and looting in the area around the port city of Durban. STIHL immediately put together a crisis team and set up a temporary warehouse in Johannesburg, as well as renting an office building in Pietermaritzburg. Norbert Pick thanked the workforce for their tireless commitment to the company: “Despite facing major challenges in 2021, our South African subsidiary generated record revenue – up by 5 percent year-on-year. All I can say to our colleagues in South Africa is: You have achieved the impossible!”
Hayden Hutton, Managing Director of STIHL South Africa, and Norbert Pick, STIHL Executive Board Member for Marketing and Sales, at the 25th anniversary gala dinner for STIHL South Africa.
Hayden Hutton, Managing Director of STIHL South Africa, added: “This kind of turnaround after such a catastrophic event is testament to the teamwork and cohesion within the STIHL family. What we have achieved together is absolutely unbelievable.”
STIHL is currently in talks to purchase the Pietermaritzburg building it is renting, in which the administration, training, engineering, sales and management functions are to be based. Plans are also in place to relocate the warehouse to Gauteng and outsource its operation to an external logistics provider to ensure a more efficient supply of STIHL products to dealers.
In 1996 STIHL established a branch in Pietermaritzburg and began expanding the market for STIHL in Africa. STIHL South Africa currently has 39 employees.