KUCHING: It takes trust and respect for Stihl and KTS to maintain a strong partnership over 44 years over two generations.
Along the way of shared success friendship blossomed as Stihl Group, producer of power tools for forestry and landscape maintenance and construction industry collaborated with KTS Group, its dealer in East Malaysia, to make Stihl tools a market leader in the region.
Cementing this teamwork Hans Peter Stihl, chairman of Stihl Holding Ag, and his senior manager Wilfried Welda are now in the state to share the 50th Anniversary joy with Dato Henry Lau, managing director of KTS Group and his staff.
KTS Group sells Stihl products through its subsidiary, KTS Trading Sdn Bhd which has a dominant market share of power tools market in East Malaysia.
“It is very interesting to highlight the relationship between KTS and Stihl because it proves the successful business deal that we have. Although contribution from Malaysia is not big, it is part of the biggest market within the Southeast Asian countries,” Hans told thesundaypost in an interview yesterday.
Asked if there was any plan for Stihl to set up a manufacturing plant in Malaysia, Hans said, “We need to have a large local market for our products before we can produce our products in the country.
“Therefore, China is our first selection for a production site given the fact that it has a huge population base and growing demand.
“Outside of China, if we are required to look for another place for production, we will look into countries like Vietnam for instance,” he revealed.
He added that the Malaysian market here was very challenging but given that the demand would not justify setting up production facilities in the country.
However, Stihl considered Malaysia a key market due to the country’s strong economic growth and stable business environment that would enable Stihl to strengthen its foothold into the region further.
On the financial front, Hans revealed that Asian countries contributed approximately 25 per cent of the group’s total turnover. In terms of distribution, the US and Europe were still its largest markets.
In 2011, the group achieved a record sale of 2.6 billion euros through increased unit sales worldwide particularly in the emerging markets.
Stihl distributes its products through its network of 40,000 approved dealers in over 160 countries.
The group has 32 sales and marketing subsidiaries of its own as well as more than 120 importers.
It has consistently been the world’s top-selling chain saw brand since 1971 spurred on by its continuous investments in research and development and incorporation of technology and innovation in its portfolio of products.