What began in 1871 as a small workshop with a simple idea in Grieskirchen, Austria, is now agricultural machinery manufacturer Pöttinger with four production plants in three countries and active worldwide. Over the past 150 years many things have changed, but one thing has always remained the same: Pöttingers’ values and the appreciation of people on which the company is based. Time to look back to a successful history and look forward to a new era.
The political map of the world and agriculture have changed enormously over the last 150 years, and so has Pöttinger. The ambitious founder of the company, Franz Pöttinger, built the first agricultural machines hand-assisted by a few helpers from his immediate family. Exports around the turn of the century were limited to the neighbouring provinces. When his son Alois Pöttinger took over in 1909, the company already employed 10 people. The first company logo featured an ear of grain and the initials A and P, which stood for Alois Pöttinger. It was not until 1971 that the lucky four-leaf clover was adopted as the new company logo. It has since been further developed and adapted over the years.
A company’s brand identity often features catchy product names, which at Pöttinger are mainly taken from the animal world: From the powerful JUMBO (elephant) and the energetic TORRO (bull) to the unbeatable LION and the cunning FOX. A special series of product developments in the 1980s featured the new generation of mowers with the name CAT, when the musical of the same name had its world premiere. The Pöttinger maize forager is called MEX, and the word mexen (“to mex”) caught on in German and is now a common term among farmers.
The third generation also set to work with courage and the necessary entrepreneurial spirit. In 1958, they cracked the equivalent of the first million. The total turnover at that time was EUR 1.4 million, of which only 7 percent was from exports.
Entering a new era
In 1960, the first expansion stage of today’s main plant in Grieskirchen was built, providing around 300 people with a modern workplace. Even back then, there was a company canteen for the employees. In 1970 Pöttinger had over 800 employees and generated a turnover equivalent to EUR 22.5 million, about one third of which was accounted for by exports. In 1991 – during a very difficult economic period – Heinz and Klaus Pöttinger took the helm as the fourth generation. For two and a half decades, the brothers steered the company, pushing ahead with internationalisation and laying the foundation for today’s success. When Klaus and Heinz Pöttinger withdrew from operational management, managers from within the company took the helm for the first time in 2016.
Today, the company has almost 2,000 employees from 36 different nations and generates a turnover of EUR 405 million, with an export share of almost 90 percent.
Honour the past – be the future
Over the past 150 years, there was always an entrepreneur confronted with new challenges. Franz Pöttinger and the generations that followed have sought new ways to solve the tasks at hand with a great deal of courage and talent. Pöttinger is therefore no longer a purely mechanical engineering manufacturing company. Pöttinger is a high-tech company, the machines are highly complex and data management systems offer user-friendly solutions. “In our journey through time from 1871 to 2021, we have crossed many mountains and valleys, which we have always navigated successfully and thoughtfully. We will continue this journey with drive and enthusiasm in order to remain on course for success,” says Gregor Dietachmayr, Spokesperson for the Management Team, summing up the long success story with a motivating outlook for the future. With 150 years of technical and entrepreneurial experience, the family-owned company is ideally equipped to take on the many major challenges and tasks presented by the future.