Since 1996, Stihl has had an industry presence in South Africa. It was in this year that the first STIHL subsidiary in Africa – Andreas Stihl (Pty) Ltd, opened in the quaint town of Pietermaritzburg in the province of Kwazulu-Natal. Today, Stihl Cape Town products in particular are distributed throughout our country through a connected network of specialist dealers like us at BS Power. Many of our trusted products wear the Stihl name, and in just a few minutes of reading, you can find out much more about these products as well as become properly introduced with our Stihl Cape Town supplier.
The History of Stihl Cape Town
Originally, STIHL was founded in Germany in the 1920s by engineer Andreas Stihl, who developed one of the first engine-driven two-man chainsaws. One year after founding the company, Stihl opened its first factory in Bad Cannstatt – near Stuttgart. Unfortunately the building was damaged beyond repair during the second world war, and the company had to move its production to Waiblingen – where it remains today!
From the very beginning, STIHL believed in developing good people. The company started out as one man with a vision, but now (over 80 years later), the company is led by an innovative team of 370 designers and engineers, as well as 7 800 other dedicated employees. The entire company has over 35,000 licensed dealers in more than 160 countries. As a direct result of their unwavering commitment to the excellence of their products’ craftsmanship, STIHL has cemented itself as the first choice for professionals and hobbyist gardeners alike – all over the world.
The 70s saw the start of the shift that would eventually lead to the company we know and love today. It saw the mechanisation of production processes, and even the development of a new company logo. The new logo represented the diversification of the company’s product range. Where the original logo served as a symbol of ‘forest work’, the new logo is now universally recognised as a mark of high-quality power tools in general.
This period also saw an increase in the demand for high-quality power tools and reliable delivery service, so STIHL opened its first magnesium pressure die-casting plant in Prüm-Weinsheim. The plant produced products such as crankcases for chainsaws and other power tools. It was a very exciting time for the company. However, this excitement would soon come to an end with the unfortunate passing of the company’s founder, Andreas Stihl, at the age of 76.
Management would pass to family members Hans Peter Stihl and Eva Mayr-Stihl. Fortunately the industrious nature of the company would not pass on with its founder, and the family launched both STIHL Incorporated in the United States and Andreas Stihl Ltd in Great Britain.
The 80s and 90s saw the company begin to branch out into new, uncharted territory – such as television! Lumberjacks have a long history and culture of testing their strength and competence with axes and chainsaws in competition. STIHL saw an amazing opportunity to share this competitive spirit and rare skill set. In 1985, the company launched the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series. Today, it has a global fan-base who religiously follow events both live and on the television. Not long after this venture, STIHL acquired the garden-equipment-manufacturer, ‘VIKING’. This sub-brand was rapidly expanded under the governance of Andreas Stihl’s grandson – Dr Nikolas Stihl.
The company took root in South Africa in the early 2000s – investing half a million rand in Pietermaritzburg and purchasing property in the Campsdrift area upon which a new warehouse and office block were built and opened by Mr Hans Peter Stihl. At the turn of the century, STIHL also finally launched its innovative multi-tool concept. The addition of a splitting shaft mechanism allowed for a whole range of tools to be powered by a single engine. It is commonly known today as the KombiSystem.
Further innovations at this time include the opening of STIHL’s avant-garde Engineering Centre in Waiblingen. This project was a massive €40 million investment in STIHL’s future as a business – a brave step for any company. The late 2000s saw VIKING, STIHL’s garden-equipment sector, launch a brand-new lawn tractor range which had been designed from the ground up and in development for over four years. On top of this, STIHL decided to enter the cordless power tool market with a line of state-of-the-art hedge trimmers. These were quiet, powerful, and energy efficient tools – still praised by gardeners today.
Following this, STIHL continued its pioneering business mindset into the 2010s. The company developed a fully electronic engine management system, dubbed ‘M-Tronic’ technology, which made its ‘MS 441 C-M’ chainsaw its most advanced tool of its kind at the time. The self-tuning engine effectively gave the chainsaw its own brain! After this, a new era for the company began with the development of a range of cordless garden power tools. This new range made use of clean, quiet and long-lasting lithium-ion batteries, which would set the precedent for all the industry’s cordless power tools to follow.
Today, STIHL products are distributed all across the country by a large network of specialist dealers who are able to properly advise customers on all STIHL products and their appropriate applications, as well as provide professional after-sale service. All of STIHLs industrial-grade products are imported to South Africa from industry-leading factories in Germany.
STIHL’s South African branch is overseen by Hayden Hutton, the company’s general manager. Hutton is well-established in the chainsaw and power-tool business, and is considered an authority on the industry – making him the best man for the job. Today, the company has worked diligently to produce over 1800 patented products through its extensive laboratory research programmes. These programmes have produced revolutionary designs such as the legendary STIHL Contra – a lightweight, portable chainsaw that completely changed the tree-felling industry. This industrious approach to business has made STIHL one of the world’s largest-selling chainsaw brands operating today.
Stihl Cape Town corporate structure
Corporate structure refers to the organization of different departments within a company. The STIHL Group develops, produces and markets various power tools for the forestry, landscape maintenance, and construction industries. As previously mentioned, the corporate structure of STIHL includes a massive network of 45,000 certified dealers in almost 200 countries. The company has 36 sales and marketing subsidiaries of its own, as well as over 120 independent importers. This corporate structure has made STIHL the world’s top-selling power tool brand since 1971.
The company subscribes to the mantra – “Quality is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation”. It is exactly this expectation the company has of its employees at all levels that has allowed STIHL to retain its position as the top power tool manufacturer over the company’s long history. STIHL makes its values abundantly clear: they are committed to quality, integrity and professionalism in everything they do. This can be seen in the uncompromising quality of their products, the dedication of their staff, the punctuality of their service, their continued efforts in pursuit of improvement and progress as well as the implacable support STIHL provides to all of its employees.
To further emphasise the diligence STIHL demonstrates as one of the leading power tool manufacturers, their values are constantly checked against stringent criteria. The company measures their success by continually monitoring their customer satisfaction, their market-share leadership and sales growth, the efficiency of their operational processes, and the security of all their staff.
The more general corporate structure of the company operates as follows: STIHL prides itself on its sale of premium quality branded products through the aforementioned network of servicing dealers, who offer exceptional standards of advice and service to all customers. With their combined knowledge and expertise concerning the power tool industry, STIHL and their servicing dealers have formed strong partnerships ensuring the efficient distribution of their products. To guarantee the success of these partnerships in the long term, the contributions of both partners are clearly stated in STIHL’s document entitled ‘Guidelines for Co-operation with Servicing Dealers’. Once again, this demonstrates STIHL’s continual commitment to upholding the standards and values they set out for themselves.
STIHL is a company that recognises the importance of responsibility and accountability. They are ethical and thorough in every project they undertake. Every step of the production process is carefully monitored, from the sourcing of raw materials to the effect of tertiary manufacturing on the environment, STIHL works rigorously to ensure the quality they pride themselves on shines through in everything they do – not just in the final product.
Their factories are certified to the ‘ISO 9001:2000’ standard – meaning their standards of manufacturing, management, and environmental awareness meet what is universally required. These standards are laid out by the International Standards Organisation, or ‘ISO’. However, on top of frequent inspections sanctioned by the ISO, STIHL conducts their own strict tests to certify the standards of their production process.
For example, the company only uses materials and components that have been properly inspected and exhibit perfect quality. They also check that every machine used in the production process goes through a trial run as soon as it comes off its assembly line, and that every hundredth machine is completely disassembled and reassembled before being distributed.
Stihl Cape Town products we offer at BS Power
Looking to get your hands dirty with some proper power tool work? Here are two of our picks for the best value STIHL Cape Town power tools available from BS Power!
STIHL Cape Town – STIHL MS361 Chainsaw
The stand-out feature of the STIHL MS361 chainsaw it’s incredible power to weight ratio. The tool makes use of state-of-the-art technology which gives it unrivalled cutting speed and torque. The chainsaw comes fitted with STIHL’s patented vibration-absorbing chain, giving this chainsaw the lowest vibrations levels in its class. The tool is available in guide bar sizes from 40cm to 50cm, it has a displacement of 50 cm³, a performance of 3,4kW, a weight of 5.6 kg, a power-to-weight ratio of 1.6kg/kW, a chain pinch of ⅜”, and a total oil tank volume of 323 cm³. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better tool to handle all your chainsaw needs.
STIHL Cape Town – STIHL BG56 Blower
With Cape Town’s unpredictable weather patterns, leaves will be falling in your garden all year round. But that’s okay, you can always make your Cape Town garden a STIHL Cape Town garden! The STIHL BG56 Blower will make light work of any fallen plant matter – keeping your garden in perfect shape at the click of button. The blower’s ability to quickly clear grass cuttings and leaves is due to the simple design of a round nozzle, 2-stroke engine with stratified charge, and quick-stop button. In addition to this – and intuitive, comfortable thumb-operated control allows the operator to keep his thumb on the handle at all times.