Forest areas, farmland, urban parks – nature is multi-faceted. This is one of the reasons why our products are used in such a wide range of fields. Whether landscaping, forestry, the furniture industry, tea production or bush fire prevention – as a global group it is our aspiration to cope with challenges of every possible kind. It is our objective both to work close to the customer and to maintain sustainable habitats. We will show you how various STIHL is in different countries.
Shaping sustainable habitats all over the world – this is STIHL’s vision. Our chainsaws and power tools for forestry and agriculture, construction, garden and landscape maintenance make an important contribution to preservation, cultivation and care for nature. For our products to reach the customers who need them not only on time but also in sufficient quantity, we need to know the demands of the different regions exactly. With the help of our sales subsidiaries and about 40,000 specialist dealerships located closely to customers in 160 countries on 5 continents, we identify local needs and provide tailor-made and innovative solutions.
Depending on the climate zone, vegetation and operating place, different equipment is needed in the various regions of the world.
The distribution of forest and agricultural land has a significant impact on which STIHL equipment is needed. Whereas Poland has a lot of forest, 80 per cent of land in South Africa is used for agriculture. Clearing saws are used in the wilderness and in cities alike; chainsaws are frequently used in the woods and in agricultural operations. We have glanced at four continents and took a closer look at a few countries as examples.
Poland: farmers are the largest customer group
In Poland, about half the area of the country is used for agricultural purposes. “Our largest customer group are small to medium-sized farmers. A saw is needed on every farmyard”, says Tomasz Cichoński, managing director of STIHL Poland.
Due to the positive economic development in Poland and the strong furniture industry, there is also an increasing demand for STIHL products. The Polish subsidiary has been existed since 1992. The market has grown significantly in recent years. There are even more potential, reports Cichoński: “Authorities and private individuals are placing ever more importance on care for parks and gardens.” And they prefer to use STIHL products for this, too.
South Africa: protection of vegetation with clearing saws
Completely different factors determine the South African market. The growing season in South Africa makes up 9 months of the year and the winters are correspondingly short. This means that there is a lot of dry grassland. There is obviously a very high risk of bush fires in more than 60 per cent of the land area. “To prevent bush fires from getting bigger, farmers cut firebreaks – by using clearing saws. They are the best-selling product in South Africa”, reports Hayden Hutton, managing director of STIHL South Africa. Even large lawns are often maintained using clearing saws rather than lawnmowers.
Another typical aspect of South African dealerships is that they tend to be managed by the same family over generations, just like the Stihl family. Also Hutton is sort of the second generation of managing directors. “When my father retired, I received the great privilege of being chosen as successor – a family story fitting of STIHL.”
India: speciality product: tea plant pruners
“In the case of India, it is hardly possible to speak of ‘one’ market. There are 24 official languages and 29 states. All religions and ethnic groups in the world can be found here. This makes the market very complicated. But there is still a great deal of potential and we are expanding our presence on the market and our market share.” Parind Prabhudesai, managing director of STIHL India, knows what he is talking about. Indian tea production, to name only one example, has increased by almost 45 per cent over the last 15 years. This is also being reflected in demand: one of the typical products of India is the STIHL FT 250 tea plant pruner. “The tea farmers use them to cut back the older twigs during the growth period in order to obtain a better harvest of young, fresh twigs. This improves the quality of the tea.” There is also great demand for chainsaws and clearing saws in India.
Argentina: tropics, desert, ice
Argentina is a huge country in which almost every climate zone can be found: from the tropics to the desert to ice. For this reason, products are needed for a variety of tasks. Especially in the segment of clearing saws sales increased strongly in 2015. It is, however, not that easy to import the required products. On the one hand, there are great restrictions on imports which mean that a separate authorisation is required for every single shipment. This leads to great delays in the delivery of certain models and it is hardly possible to manage inventories. Fluctuations in imports are also characteristic of the Argentinian market. It is not unusual for imports to rise or fall by as much as 50 per cent from one year to the next. In addition, the Argentinian market is very competitive. “There are more than 60 brands in our product segment”, explains Pablo Fijalkauskas, managing director of STIHL Argentina.
No matter where, STIHL consistently focuses on customer needs because the success of the company ultimately depends on customer satisfaction. Thanks to our decades of experience in outdoor applications, we will find a suitable solution for every task.