When Josef Thannhuber took over his uncle Hans Einhell's installation business in the early 1960s, he had no idea what kind of success story he would one day write. More than 50 years later, Einhell AG is one of the world's leading DIY companies. Decades of hard work, tireless commitment and foresight have paid off. In the following, we'll take a look at the fabulous history of this German manufacturer of power tools and gardening equipment.
1964-1967: the beginning
In 1964, Hans Einhell, who had previously owned an electrical installation company in Landau, asked his nephew Josef Thannhuber to take over the company. No one could have realized the consequences this would have. Josef actually traveled abroad in order to learn his trade and gain experience. The young electrical engineer had very different plans for his own future, far from taking over his uncle's rural craft business.
However, he was eventually convinced and his drive soon led him to develop new ideas, visions and products that really got his uncle's business off the ground. And so Josef Thannhuber laid the original foundations for the rapid success that continues to this day. A key decision that demonstrates the mechanical engineer's foresight. Yet he kept his uncle's name on the company, a name that would become a benchmark among brands of garden equipment and power tools over the next half century.
1968-1985: internationalization through entrepreneurship
In the early years of the reconstruction period, switchgear and transformers were used as the basis for other products, such as the first distribution boxes with three-phase inverters as well as transformers for welding equipment, cable drums and small battery chargers. The boxes were largely made from scrap metal purchased at low cost from a nearby car manufacturer. In addition to tools and transformers, the product line was soon expanded to include equipment such as barbecue sets.
Hans Einhell GmbH suffered its first minor setback in 1968, when a fire destroyed most of the new production facilities. Yet Josef Thannhuber would not be deterred and, thanks to the dedication of staff and skilled workers, he was able to resume production after only 14 days.
As 1968, an extremely eventful year, came to a close and humanity saw the dark side of the moon for the first time, the future of DIY was being written in Landau.
The company was a pioneer in internationalization and soon opened a production site in Spain. The founder was also one of the first Western businessmen to travel to Asia and set up production facilities there. Contacts in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand laid the foundation for a long-term strategy to transform the company into an international production and trading company.
To ensure a clear differentiation between the different tasks within the company, Einhell GmbH split into 3 sales companies now known as Hans Einhell, Inhaber Josef Thannhuber GmbH und Co KG and the production company Hans Einhell GmbH. In the following years, the company continued to grow, supplying major European retailers and becoming the market leader in small battery chargers.
1990-2003: internal political changes for a successful 21st century
The 25thème he company's anniversary is accompanied by significant developments in world history that have played a decisive role in the success of Einhell AG. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany that soon followed, the collapse of the Soviet Union, economic restructuring and the opening up of the former Eastern Bloc were key milestones for the German economy.
And of course they also opened up new opportunities, which were seized with the usual speed and consistency. Josef Thannhuber moved from the Executive Board to the Supervisory Board and placed the operational management of the company in the hands of young people. At about the same time, a number of senior managers who had been there from the start took well-deserved retirement.
The transition to a new era went smoothly, in part because the company had set the right course for the future based on a well-defined and well thought-out strategy. WhenEinhell celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2004, the Landau-based company reported its best annual results ever.
From cordless screwdrivers to electric lawnmowers, Einhell is one of the world's leading DIY companies. Its wide range of products covers a broad spectrum of applications in the home and garden, as well as in the garage and workshop. In addition to reliable quality, comprehensive service and exceptional value for money, the Einhell brand stands for freedom, simplicity, safety and joy in the realization of personal projects.
If you want to know everything about the entire Einhell range, read our guides: