Stihl Inc., the headquarters for U.S. operations for the worldwide Stihl Group, announced that it has produced its 50 millionth powerhead unit at the company’s Virginia Beach, Va., manufacturing facility. The milestone exemplifies the success Stihl Inc. has enjoyed while pursuing a unique manufacturing and marketing strategy.
“This significant achievement of our 50 millionth unit represents decades of hard work and dedication by our entire team of Stihl employees, from the men and women on our product assembly and manufacturing lines to our territory managers across the country,” said Fred Whyte, president of Stihl Inc.
“From our humble beginnings in 1974, we have chosen to consistently expand our manufacturing capabilities here in America, in-sourcing labor and production; and this milestone reflects the success of these efforts.”
“Our two-step distribution process is another driving factor in our success. Stihl is not available in big box mass merchants. Instead, we supply our regional branches and distributors, allowing us to quickly react to demand fluctuation across the country,” Whyte said. “These strategically located distribution centers provide our product to more than 8,000 independent servicing dealers nationwide. This unique distribution, coupled with reliable and durable products and innovative marketing, has resulted in a year-to-date unit sales increase of over 5 percent, as compared to last year.”
Over the years, Stihl has continued to evolve its manufacturing processes. “Vertical integration is at the heart of our manufacturing success, and we continue to increase our in-house component manufacturing capabilities and make our operation competitive globally while minimizing cost increases,“ Whyte said. The most recent expansion to the Virginia Beach facility, a 55,000-square-foot addition to the accessories plant, doubled the size of the company’s blow-molding operations.
Stihl began its U.S. operations in 1974 with 50 employees and a single model of chain saw. Since then, production has grown and the company now employs more than 2,000 people nationwide, with more than 1,800 in Virginia Beach, producing a full line of high-quality, handheld outdoor power equipment including blowers, trimmers, brushcutters and multi-task tools. In addition to serving the U.S. market, the company now exports to more than 90 countries.