Kärcher is the leading manufacturer of commercial, industrial and consumer cleaning equipment in the world. Kärcher is headquartered in Winnenden, Germany, was founded in 1935, and is now the world market leader in cleaning technology and currently employs more than 10,000 people worldwide.
Kärcher's North American division is one of the largest subsidiaries of the Kärcher Group with over 1,150 employees in seven locations (including four manufacturing facilities). In North America, Kärcher produces and distributes products and services under the brands Kärcher, Windsor Kärcher Group, Landa Kärcher Group, Hotsy, Water Maze, Spraymart, Cuda Kärcher Group, WOMA Kärcher Group, and Shark.
A world leader in the production of hot and cold water pressure washers, Kärcher North America’s extensive line includes over 100 different industrial and commercial pressure washers. Our commercial and industrial floor-cleaning equipment features innovative cleaning solutions. Kärcher North America’s wash-water treatment and dry ice cleaning systems provide unique cleaning alternatives in a variety of applications.
The company’s solutions serve our customers’ cleaning needs in an economical and environmentally-friendly manner.
Windsor Kärcher Group is a brand of Kärcher, focused on bringing innovative, cost saving industrial and commercial floor cleaning equipment to the North American market. Windsor Kärcher Group is best known for the market-leading Sensor and Versamatic commercial upright vacuums as well as the patented Chariot stand-on cleaning technology. As an industrial and commercial floor cleaning equipment supplier, we offer a full line of commercial floor scrubbers, sweepers, vacuums, extractors, burnishers, floor machines and more.
Facts and figures for the 2016 financial year
Kärcher was on a course of growth again in 2016. With € 2.33 billion (more than € 100 million increase from 2015), the company has achieved the highest sales in its history. The number of employees also grew. Kärcher employed 11,862 people in 65 countries worldwide by the end of 2016, i.e. over 500 new employees in 2016.
Besides economic growth, 2016 was completely characterized by product innovation: Kärcher launched more than 100 new products last year. In the industrial sector, the EASY!Force trigger gun was introduced. It reduces operator fatigue by using its own recoil force to hold the trigger down for you. On the retail side, Kärcher has launched a new pressure washer line, as well as a completely new floor cleaner, the FC 5, which unites vacuuming and wiping in just one working step.
Also in 2016, the global market leader in cleaning technology made extensive investments. A new customer and visitor center was opened at the headquarters in Winnenden, Germany.
Kärcher also further extended its social commitment worldwide. This includes restoring historical monuments just as well as supporting non-profit organizations. In 2016, Kärcher cleaned the Hermann Monument near Detmold and the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, the largest spherical building of the world, using its own technology in the context of its culture sponsoring. In the social sector, Kärcher supported SOS Children’s Villages in Germany and abroad with devices and donations. Together with the Global Nature Fund, green filter systems were constructed in Mexico and Colombia for rural communities.
We are working on new solutions – full steam ahead. Today as we always have.
Alfred Kärcher – inventor and entrepreneur
Alfred Kärcher, like Robert Bosch, Gottlieb Daimler and Graf Zeppelin, was one of the inventors and entrepreneurs that Württemberg produced in such great number since the beginning of the industrial era. With the utmost commitment, he dedicated himself to bringing his ideas to fruition. In 1924, the then 23-year-old completed his studies at the Technical University of Stuttgart and worked first of all at his father's agency, which he developed into an engineer's office. In 1935 he founded his own company in Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart so that he could produce and market his own products in the field of heating technology. Alfred Kärcher designed and built the "Kärcher salt bath furnace", among other products, for tempering steel and light metal in industry according to his own patent.
In 1939, the family-owned company relocated to Winnenden, where it still has its headquarters. By this time the company was also producing heating devices for aircraft engines and cabin heating systems. Following the Second World War, the company turned its attention to products for urgent, everyday use: round stoves, small cookers, handcarts and trailers for tractors.
Move into cleaning technology
Alfred Kärcher made his breakthrough into the cleaning technology industry in 1950 with the development of the first European hot water high-pressure cleaner (the DS 350 steam jet). The design of the water heater proved to be so pioneering that it still forms the basis of all burners today.
Like so many, Alfred Kärcher did not live to see the global success of his innovation. When he died on 17 September 1959 at the age of 58, his wife Irene took over the management of the company and steered its fortunes for three decades. Today their children Johannes Kärcher and Susanne Zimmermann von Siefart are in charge of the family-owned company in its second generation.
In 1962, Kärcher founded its first foreign subsidiary in France, followed by Austria and Switzerland. Internationalisation continued apace. In 1975, Kärcher opened a factory in Brazil; 10 years later, the company had founded 16 sales companies in North America, Africa, Australia and elsewhere. By 2012, Kärcher was represented by subsidiaries in 57 countries and generating 85% of its sales abroad. With 40,000 customer service points in over 190 countries, Kärcher provides comprehensive support to its customers all over the world.
Growth through innovation
After a phase of diversification, Kärcher turned its attention to high-pressure cleaning in 1974. During this period, the colour of the machines was changed from blue to the now world-famous Kärcher yellow. In 1980, the company expanded its product range to cover basic cleaning requirements, initially in the areas of transport and buildings. Step by step, the range was expanded with the addition of wet and dry vacuum cleaners, sweeper vacuums and scrubber driers, vehicle washing bays, steam cleaners, cleaning agents and drinking water and wastewater treatment systems.
Among the milestones in Kärcher's history was the introduction in 1984 of the HD 555 profi, the first portable high-pressure cleaner, and the subsequent expansion into the consumer market. In 1993, this range was expanded to include indoor products and Kärcher has since added steam cleaners and vacuum cleaners for private households to its range. The RoboCleaner RC 3000 was launched in 2003 as the world's first fully automatic robotic vacuum cleaner. In 2007, Kärcher moved into the completely new sector of gardening, which includes pumps for watering, water removal and service water supply in households, as well as an extensive range of accessories.
In 1986, Kärcher launched its pioneering roller brush technology for scrubber driers in the professional range. Thanks to the development of a new rotary nozzle (dirt blaster) in 1995, the cleaning effect of the high-pressure cleaner was almost doubled. The dust intake of commercial wet and dry vacuum cleaners was continuously improved, and in 2007 the innovative Tact filter cleaning system was launched. New procedures were also developed in the course of worldwide cleaning projects: the 284 travertine columns on St Peter's Square in Rome were restored using a specially developed spray process over a total area of 25,000 m². Since 2009, Kärcher has been selling ultra-high pressure cleaners, which, at up to 2,500 bar pressure, not only clean but restore facades and strip concrete. In the same year, a multipurpose municipal sweeper was released onto the market and new target groups were gained with the launch of water dispensers.
Kärcher becomes a global market leader
Innovation has been and continues to be the most important growth factor. In 2011 alone, Kärcher launched over 100 new products. The global market leader in cleaning technology will continue to be characterised by its ingenuity, top performance and innovative problem solving.
Top performance for cleanliness and value retention
Our corporate mission statement
We foster open dialogue with our customers based on partnership. Our products and services offer ideal solutions which have real benefits for customers. Our customers' cleaning problems can be solved quickly and flexibly.
Qualified and motivated employees who take pleasure in their work are an important success factor for Kärcher.
Trust, loyalty, transparency, fairness, reliability and respect characterise Kärcher's relationships with others, both inside and outside the company. Through teamwork and by actively exchanging information, we make the most of all of the experience and expertise our company has to offer in order to achieve our goals.
Our product range
We offer cleaning systems, cleaning products and services for leisure, home, trade and industry with outstanding value for money.
Kärcher is a global company and sees itself as a benchmark. We want to occupy a leading position in market share, innovation, quality and image, and we aim to be global market leaders in all areas of our business.
As leading innovators, we set standards in technology, service and design aimed at providing maximum benefit to our customers and meeting our customers' needs. Our innovations impress and inspire our customers.
All over the world, the Kärcher brand is synonymous with top performance, innovation and quality. We want to continuously strengthen our brand.
Production and procurement
Our suppliers are part of our value chain. Together with them, we work continuously to optimise production intensity and process design. We ensure competitiveness in quality and costs through our responsiveness, speed and flexibility.
Corporate social responsibility
Kärcher stands by its responsibility to society: we respect the values and standards, human rights, and legal and social systems of all countries in the spirit of good citizenship.
Use of resources
We design our products, services and processes to be environmentally compatible. Wherever we are active, we take environmental requirements into account and, in doing so, use all of the available resources responsibly.
Growth, finance and success
We increase our profitability and financial resources through profitable growth, thereby safeguarding the future and long-term development of our company. Our priority is to maintain our financial independence and decision-making autonomy. Moreover, organic growth takes precedence over acquisition.
Our partners identify closely with the company. Kärcher is still a family-owned company.