KNOWLEDGE.VALUES.CHANGE.-this is how Dr Eng. Jochen F. Kirchhoff qualified the history of the family-owned Company steeped in tradition, during its 225-year anniversary celebration in 2010.
It all began in 1785 with the founding of a needle factory, which, 100 years later under the direction of Friedrich Kirchhoff, was producing 2 million needles a day and exporting them across the globe.
It was also Friedrich Kirchhoff who already established a press and punch plant in the centre of Iserlohn in 1894, as well as initially promoted the production of sheet steel parts for the wagon and locomotive industries, and then later for the mining and automotive industries. While this branch of the industry flourished, in 1954 needle production was ceased for economic reasons.
At the end of the 1970s, the Kirchhoff family decided to dedicate all of its finances to the building of a new press shop in Iserlohn and thereby considerably extend its capacity for and usefulness to the automotive industry. The focus on the automotive industry took on a new dimension with the acquisition of the company Matthias Kutsch in Attendorn in 1984. While, up until now, the plant in Iserlohn had primarily focused on the commercial vehicle industry, the supplier to passenger car manufacturers Kutsch was an ideal addition for KIRCHHOFF Automotive.
1990 brought in the age of so-called "globalisation". KIRCHHOFF Automotive followed its customers-the large vehicle manufacturers-into new markets. The internationalisation began with the acquisition of the Portuguese company Gametal, known today as KIRCHHOFF Automotive Portugal (1993). It continued with the takeover of Sigro and its plant in Ireland (1993); the founding of KIRCHHOFF Polska in Mielec, Poland (1998); KIRCHHOFF España in Zaragoza, Spain (2000); KIRCHHOFF Hungária in Esztergom, Hungary (2004); the acquisition of the company SOEC in Ymeray, France (2005); and the founding of KIRCHHOFF Automotive Romania in Craiova, Romania in 2013. We are continually investing in all of our European locations. New subsidiary plants are being added, new workshops for modern machinery are being built.
Currently, the focus lies on the development of innovative products in lightweight construction for the vehicles of the future - on three continents: Europe, Asia, and North America.