Our footprints in the Middle Kingdom

This year KIRCHHOFF Automotive celebrates the 10th anniversary of the plant Suzhou in China. This anniversary testifies to positive and dynamic development in China over the last 10 years – but our company has left its footprints in China way before that.

The first step: It all began with needles – not only does this apply to the history of KIRCHHOFF Automotive but also to the company’s relationship to China. Around the 1900s the exports from the German needle industry boomed especially to East Asia, one of the main sales regions of Stephan Witte’s company. But the First World War left the market to collapse.

Growing years: In1925 the last attempt to optimize the needle sales in China started to take place. Hand Kirchhoff, at that time the youngest partner of the Stephan Witte & Comp., travelled to East Asia to explore the conditions of big cities and new market places. To report on his experiences, he wrote a very successful book. He worked towards making Stephan Witte & Comp. a registered trademark in China for needle products. But the highdays of the needle production have passed. The Second World War brought export to a standstill, and in 1954 the traditional chapter of the needle production was discontinued.

With the seven-league boots: More than 50 years later, KIRCHHOFF Group returns to the Middle Kingdom in the Automotive sector. In a rented assembly hall in Suzhou production began in 2006. This is the moment that marks the anniversary we celebrate this year. The fast development and the enormous potential of the Chinese automotive market lead us to build one year later a production hall and an administration building on a 40,000 square meter area in Suzhou Industrial Park. In 2010 the subsidiary in Chongqing followed, due to our strong economic development. A third plant in Shenyang has been put into operation three years ago.

We wish all the best for all further milestones!

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