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  1. Böllhoff Austria
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  3. 1964: our way across the Atlantic

Our way across the Atlantic

In 1964, Böllhoff expanded to the American continent for the first time - and opened branches in Brazil and Mexico.

The Böllhoff team at the Brazil site in 1966

The 1960s: a decade of change

Political unrest, the construction of the Berlin Wall, but also the first moon landing – the 1960s are widely considered a decade of change. This was also the case at Böllhoff. For our company, this eventful decade especially brought with it the first steps beyond Germany’s borders.

After the foundation of the first sales office outside Germany in Vienna, Austria, in 1962, we took the leap to Latin America in 1964. With the establishment of import companies in Brazil and Mexico, we followed in the footsteps of Germany’s largest car manufacturer across the Atlantic. The overall conditions there, however, were completely different from those in Europe at the time.

Let’s take Brazil as an example. Covering more than 8.5 million square kilometres, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world by area. Its sheer size and the sometimes sparsely developed infrastructure in the 1960s shaped our beginnings on the other side of the Atlantic.
 

The flag of Brazil flies in the wind
Böllhoff has been present in Brazil since 1964.

"When I came to Rio in 1964, we had to go to a bank if we wanted to call somebody in Bielefeld. They were the only ones near who had a telephone. The electricity also failed frequently. In addition, sending mail took a long time and was unsafe. That's why we always wrote letters twice."

Portrait of Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff
Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff Third-generation company manager from 1962 to 2004
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Brazil: from a sales office to the centre of Böllhoff activities in South America

Despite the initial challenges in terms of infrastructure, the Böllhoff branch in Brazil developed extremely well. Within a short period of time we became a well-known supplier for the local automotive industry. Strong growth followed. After only a few years, we therefore needed our own production capacities within the country. In 1972, we acquired a majority shareholding in Mècânica Productora DODI Ltda, a manufacturer of nuts based in Jundiaí. In the following years, production was successively stepped up to include our own brands such as HELICOIL® thread inserts or RIVKLE® blind rivet nuts. Relocation to a larger production plant followed in 1981, then the takeover of a manufacturer of stainless steel fasteners in 1989. All these increases in capacity subsequently smoothed the way into numerous sectors such as the chemicals and food industries.

The Böllhoff team at the Brazil site in 1966
The team of the Böllhoff sales office in Brazil in 1966

Let’s skip to the present: Today, our site in Jundiaí, Brazil, is among the Böllhoff Group’s largest production sites around the globe. All our activities in South America are bundled under the umbrella of the Brazilian holding company, including a relatively new branch in Argentina. In Brazil alone, we achieved a turnover of 50 million euros in 2022.

Important building blocks for this success: the enthusiasm of the almost 270 employees there as well as their long-term loyalty to the company. To promote both of these aspects, Böllhoff Brazil has been investing heavily in the further training of all employees for years – since 1992 even with its own on-site training centre. 

The Böllhoff Group's company site in Jundiaí, Brazil
The Böllhoff company site in Jundiaí, Brazil, today

"We invest a lot in employee training because we believe in the development of our team. Our competition may have similar machines and equipment, be in a location as privileged as ours, but what makes the difference in the market is having a committed and well-trained team."

Picture of the Managing Director of the South America Region: Flavio Silva
Flavio Silva Managing Director South America
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Impressions

  • Training centre

    Product training at the Böllhoff training centre in Jundiaí, Brazil

  • Enthusiastic employees

    At the production site in Jundiaí, qualified employees manufacture a wide variety of fasteners

  • Team

    Almost 270 employees work for Böllhoff in Brazil today

  • From fasteners to assembly solutions

    A committed and well-trained team supports customers in Brazil in all matters relating to joining technology