Waiblingen, 7/13/2023 | Company press release
STIHL, a family-owned business, has opened its new Brand World in Waiblingen. It is the flagship project of an extensive, multi-year project to expand the company’s head office. The STIHL Brand World takes visitors on an exciting journey through the nearly 100-year history of the business and the brand. One particular highlight of the exhibition is a comprehensive knowledge platform on the fascinating subject of forests.
“The new STIHL Brand World has really impressed me. It’s exciting to see how much technology and expertise goes into these products,” said Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann, at the opening ceremony on July 13. “Not only is the new Brand World home to a great exhibition, it’s also a valuable knowledge platform on the subject of forests. After all, forests are important for us – as habitats for animals, plants, and fungi; as places of learning, recreation, and relaxation; as sites of business and commerce; as gigantic carbon storage and oxygen producers, and therefore as a ray of hope against global heating. These treasure troves of nature are something we want to preserve and use sustainably. Family-owned businesses such as STIHL show us that economic prosperity and climate protection go together today.”
For STIHL Advisory Board and Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Nikolas Stihl, the new building is an investment in the future and a strong commitment to the company’s place of business in Waiblingen. “The total investment of more than 100 million euros makes this by far the most expensive construction project in our company’s history, and yet again underscores STIHL’s deep connection to the location and the region. The Brand World is the centerpiece of the modernization and extensive expansion of the STIHL headquarters. It gives visitors the opportunity to get to know our family-owned business along with our philosophy, history, present, and also future, in an informative and interactive manner.”
Located directly on the banks of the Rems river with a view of its natural surroundings, the Brand World includes a three-story exhibition space measuring a good 1,500 square meters. “In addition to the development of the company and the innovative products from STIHL, the exhibition focuses on the fascinating subject of the forest, which has been inseparably linked to the STIHL brand since Andreas Stihl founded the company in 1926. The importance of the forest for our planet, especially in light of ongoing climate change, as well as the way sustainable forestry works and the relevance of the forest for each and every one of us, is presented interactively on a dedicated level,” explains Sarah Gewert, STIHL Executive Board Member for Marketing and Sales. The company worked with international experts from science and forestry to create the knowledge platform, which combines research with practice and is curated by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus, Chair of Silviculture at the University of Freiburg.
The company’s history is told on the two other levels named “Vision” and “Innovation”: From its roots in forestry with the first and now-historic two-man saws to the latest pioneering STIHL technology, as well as a look at the future and areas of applications yet to come. The exhibition also features a number of employees who present current and relevant company topics, such as the STIHL sustainability strategy, the high level of vertical integration and product innovations in terms of safety and ergonomics. In addition to gaining insights into manufacturing and assembly, visitors also have the chance to explore the wide range of STIHL products for all applications. Meanwhile, the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS section lets visitors immerse themselves in the competitive atmosphere of lumberjack sports. The complex also features an amphitheater for product demonstrations, a café, and the STIHL Brand Shop.
The exhibition is presented in German and English. It appeals to a wide audience – from forestry, horticulture, and landscaping professionals to fans of STIHL – as well as younger guests and those with a general interest. A digital guide escorts visitors through the exhibition and provides additional informative content.
The STIHL Brand World is scheduled to open its doors to the general public for the first time on Saturday, September 30 and in future will be open to individual visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. Online ticket sales for these visits will start from mid-September via the website markenwelt.stihl.de. An internal test phase to train additional visitor guides and optimize operating processes will continue until the opening date.
Construction of the new building complex started in 2019 with the core removal of the high-rise originally built in 1972. The tower has now been fully renovated to house around 300 modern workspaces and a selection of meeting rooms. The old company buildings around the high-rise have been replaced with new ones containing the Brand World, a staff cafeteria, and additional offices and work space. “With this prestigious building, we are opening up to the interested general public and giving them the opportunity to come into contact with STIHL. At the same time, we have managed to create a new and attractive working environment for our employees. This sets the course for the continuation of our worldwide STIHL success story,” said Executive Board Chairman Michael Traub.
Despite major construction challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, building work progressed on schedule and the company’s new head office was put into operation in late 2022 as planned. The opening of the STIHL Brand World marks the culmination of the construction project.