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Austria: from small beginnings to great successes

Over 60 years ago, on 1 July 1962, our first branch office outside Germany was established in Vienna, Austria.

Exterior view of today's sales location of Böllhoff Austria in Traun

HELICOIL® as the driving force behind internationalisation

After the acquisition of a licence for manufacturing and selling HELICOIL® thread inserts and the opening of the first Böllhoff production facilities in Bielefeld, the aim after 1958 was to expand the market position of HELICOIL®. The international market also played a decisive role here. And so, on 1 July 1962, the first Böllhoff branch outside Germany was founded in Vienna, Austria.

However, let’s start from the very beginning: At the end of the 1950s, the transition from the second to the third family generation at Böllhoff was already on the horizon. After studying business administration, Wolfgang W. Böllhoff joined his father Josef’s company in 1958, initially as a field staff member. At that time, it was already agreed that Wolfgang should take over the responsibility for production surrounding HELICOIL® in the long term. So in the early 1960s, while doing his doctorate at the University of World Trade in Vienna, Wolfgang devoted himself to yet another task. He wanted to establish Austria as a sales territory for the HELICOIL® thread insert.

"I suddenly saw the world with completely different eyes and thought: Böllhoff cannot remain just a German company."

Portrait of Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff
Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff Third-generation company manager from 1962 to 2004

Foundation of the first Böllhoff branch outside Germany

The idea of internationalising Böllhoff was born. Shortly after his switch to company management, Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff finally founded a Böllhoff branch in Vienna on 1 July 1962. He was convinced that complex products such as the HELICOIL® thread insert had to be introduced to customers locally through application technology. Thus, the young company started with a lot of momentum at its location in Karolinengasse in Vienna’s 4th district and took over the distribution of the novel HELICOIL® elements in Austria – initially under the name Friedrich Schindler & Co.

An exhibition stand of Friedrich Schindler & Co., later known as Böllhoff Austria, in 1964
An exhibition stand of Friedrich Schindler & Co. in 1964

Name change and move to Linz

A steady expansion followed and the branch’s product range also continued to grow. Screws, nuts and standard parts were added – with visible consequences. In order to show the affiliation to Böllhoff as a well-known company in fastening technology to the outside world, Friedrich Schindler & Co. changed its name to Wilhelm Böllhoff Ges. m.b.H. in 1979. Further milestones followed, such as the construction of a new sales location in the rapidly growing economic area around Linz in the 1980s or the addition of innovative Kanban-based supply systems to the product portfolio in 1997. Since the end of 2008, the sales office in Austria is now located in a state-of-the-art office building in Traun near Linz.

Cover of an advertising brochure on the relocation of Böllhoff Austria to Linz in the 1980s
Cover of an advertising brochure on the relocation of Böllhoff Austria to Linz in the 1980s

Today, Böllhoff Austria is the centre of our activities in all countries of South East Europe. The entire South East Europe Group now employs around 210 people and generates annual sales of more than 82 million euros (2022).

The IMG Business Center in Traun, home of the Austrian Böllhoff sales office today
The Böllhoff sales office Austria is located in Traun near Linz today in the modern IMG Business Center on the outskirts of the city

"For more than 60 years now, Austria has not only been an important market for us, but also our valuable gateway to the countries of Eastern Europe."

Wilhelm Alexander Böllhoff
Wilhelm A. Böllhoff Member of the company management