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  4. 1962: Austria – from small beginnings to great successes

Story No. 5

Austria: from small beginnings to great successes

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, he dedicated himself to the task of building up the sales territory for the HELICOIL® thread insert in Austria.

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

„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.

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.

Today, Böllhoff Austria is the centre of the Böllhoff Group’s activities in all countries of South East Europe. The entire South East Europe Group now employs around 220 people and generates sales of more than 64 million euros (2021).

„For 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

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Our history in three and a half minutes

145 years of Böllhoff – that means countless successful connections. Our fasteners were used, for example, in the fastest Atlantic steamer of the 1920s. In the lunar module that brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the dusty surface of the moon in 1969. And over the decades, of course, also in some iconic cars.

Many successful connections, both large and small, have enabled us to constantly develop as a company. In this video we would like to show you some of the most important milestones of our 145-year company history.