Over 90 years in Asia: the history of our Company in Asia reaches back to 1924. By this point in time the Stephan Witte needle factory, which was founded in 1785, was already producing 2 million needles a day and exporting them worldwide. Hans Kirchhoff, who then ran the company alongside his father Friedrich, visited China as a trade representative and was able to secure Kirchhoff becoming a registered trademark for all needle products in China. Consequently millions of needles were exported to China and used in the textile industry there.
1954 saw the closure of the chapter on needle production, after 170 years steeped in tradition. It was an economically necessary step, as it was no longer possible to keep up with global competition. But, over 50 years later, KIRCHHOFF Automotive returned to the Middle Kingdom with a very different business plan. In the meantime, China has become one of the largest emerging markets in the automotive industry. In 2006, KIRCHHOFF Automotive therefore followed its customers to China and rented a large assembly plant there. By 2013, there were three plants: Suzhou (2007), Chongqing (2010) and Shenyang (2013), of which the plant in Chongqing had to be closed in 2020 due to capacity adjustments at local customers. At the same time, KIRCHHOFF Automotive established sales offices in Kobe City, Japan and Seoul, Korea to support its Asian customers.