Today, Wiha Werkzeuge is a name that stands out in the vast market of tool manufacturing. It is not just the ‘made in Germany’ attitude and the high quality of raw materials that make tools from Wiha superior in the market. It is above all the company’s strong will to manufacture only the best tools and its innovative spirit paired with state-of-the-art production technology that have made Wiha the cream of the crop in hand tool manufacturing.
The company offers a vast range of more than 3,500 premium tools, including screwdrivers, L-keys, bits, softhead hammers, pliers, measuring tools and articulated hoses, all subject to Wiha’s strict quality requirements. “We are probably the largest manufacturer of screwdrivers in the premium segment,” states Ronny Lindskog, Managing Director and Head of European Sales and Global Marketing, who joined the business in January 2014. “When I started working for Wiha, I was impressed by its high innovation standard both with regard to product development and the company’s own corporate development in the market.”
While for many hobby craftsmen a screwdriver is simply a screwdriver, the professional acknowledges the difference a screwdriver from Wiha makes for his work. “We produce award-winning tools like screwdrivers that excel in quality and convenient handling. We are really working hard to make the difference in material and use transparent to our customers,” says Mr. Lindskog. “It takes information on the tool to identify it in terms of quality. We have to work hard to ensure that the quality is acknowledged, and we have to demonstrate the advantages of our superior tools. There is still room for improving the image of simple tools that excel in quality.”
In its early days, Wiha’s focus was on bolts and nuts, but the company started to introduce its first screwdrivers back in 1947, which laid the foundation of what Wiha stands for today.
The company that is still in the hands of the Hahn family now employs a workforce of 800 people, 450 of whom work at the Schonach premises. It was Willi Hahn who founded the company in Wuppertal before moving to the Black Forest in 1943.
In 1985, the first subsidiary abroad was set up: Wiha USA, which was followed by subsidiaries in France, the UK, Spain and Poland in the years to come. In 2005 and 2006, the establishment of Wiha China and Wiha Nordic followed.
“Pliers, for instance, are our fastest-growing products. They really have their own story to tell. Back in 2006, we were exploring new opportunities in Asia, looking for a manufacturer of pliers who could produce on our behalf. As we did not find anyone who would deliver the quality we wanted, we decided to set up our own production facilities in Vietnam. So, today, the site is under German management, meeting our quality standards throughout,” says Mr. Lindskog.
Wiha has experienced extraordinary success with soft-finish screwdrivers, investing time and money in their ergonomic and material properties. This has resulted in tools that have proven themselves in daily use.
“They are easy on the joints and extremely wear-resistant. Anyone who has worked with these tools before knows about their advantages. However, it is up to us to communicate their benefits to those parties which are not familiar with them,” stresses Mr. Lindskog.
In particular, torque screwdrivers are extremely high-tech tools, making them one of Wiha’s fastest-growing product ranges. “Throughout our production process, we take metal samples by means of spectral analysis for quality control. Only the best raw materials will find their way into our production,” says Mr. Lindskog.
As a result of its efforts to safeguard optimum quality, Wiha is able to offer a competitive pricequality ratio, although its products are more expensive than cheap imports due to their added value in day-to-day use and their significantly longer life cycle.
Wiha will introduce its new improved trade fair concept, which will first be presented at the Ligna in Hannover later this year in order to boost customers’ perception of Wiha’s premium quality tools and to implement improved marketing tools.
“We are determined to continue our success as a premium hand tool manufacturer,” says Mr. Lindskog. “The quality of our products and our employees’ loyalty have been our driving forces throughout our history. We are going to tackle continuous expansion.”