For most ordinary consumers, this German engineering company is associated exclusively with refrigerators and freezers. In fact, household appliances make up only a small percentage of the group's revenues. The main source of income is machine tools, port equipment, construction equipment, special equipment, mining and earth-moving equipment, mining dump trucks and the like. Products Liebherr used in aerospace engineering and transport. Many developments are unique, having no analogues among competitors.
When the German engineer soldier Hans Liebherr participated in the battles of World War II on the Eastern Front, he could hardly even imagine that he was destined to become the founder of one of the most famous heavy engineering companies in the world. In 1945 he was wounded for the second time and met the end of the war in a hospital in Vienna (Vienna).
Being a hereditary architect, Hans returned to the construction business after the war. And there was something to rebuild. Here he made the following observation - the construction cranes of those years were massive and clumsy monsters, so they were used only in the construction of really large and complex objects. Liebherr set about designing his own crane design, which could also be used in small areas. The model of the mobile tower crane TK-10, capable of lifting up to 2 tons to a height of up to 16 meters, was ready in August 1949. And immediately success - a prize at an industrial exhibition Mustermesse in Frankfurt am Main. The enterprising Liebherr immediately founded a company for the production of such machines. At first, the company's office was in one of the rooms of the house in Kirchdorf (Kirchdorf), where the architect-inventor lived with his family (wife and five children).
Things went well, because the products were unique and in demand. And if we also take into account the fact that it was sold at very affordable prices, it becomes clear how a tiny workshop turned into a small factory, literally in a matter of weeks. In 1958, the first foreign plant was built - in Ireland. The company began experiments in the field of refrigeration technology in 1955. The 1950s was the period of the emergence of many representative offices in various European countries.
The method of management of Hans Liebherr has become a kind of legend. He single-handedly and rigidly managed his overgrown offspring. Thrift, bordering on stinginess, was complemented by such measures as tight control. Hans at any time could visit with a control check on any of the units anywhere in the world (arriving there in economy class). And the violators had a very hard time. The most interesting thing is that he first talked with ordinary workers and only after that he talked with managers and management. Liebherr never got involved in dubious ventures and never took out any bank loans, even to the detriment of the company's growth rate. Such financial conservatism guaranteed the absence of any debt even in the most difficult times for the economy.
Today, the production of various types of cranes accounts for only a third of the holding company's income. Liebherr International AGand remained a family business. Liebherr himself lived a long life, passing away in 1993. His descendants, who took over the reins in the 90s, are now among the richest people on the planet.
Head Office Liebherr International AG is located in Bulle, Switzerland. It was moved there in the mid-80s by the aged Liebherr himself, in order to avoid the colossal German inheritance taxes. Part Liebherr Group includes many independent divisions. Representations are scattered all over the world. Annual revenues have long been in the billions.