190 years for Kuhn

Little could Joseph Kuhn have known that when he opened a village forge 190 years ago in 1828 he laid the foundations of the Kuhn Group, which last year recorded a turnover of around one billion Euros. Today's business, which provides jobs for 5,000, and has a global network of production and distribution sites that sells its products in around 100 countries, is all a far cry from the early days when Mr Kuhn made weighing scales from a village close to Saverne, in the Alsace region.

In 1864, following the opening of the new Paris-Strasbourg rail line, he moved to a factory at Saverne and with help from his brothers began making farm machinery. By the early 20th century, several dozen machines were produced every week. Becoming German in 1871, then French again in 1918, the Second World War brought a decade of growth to a sudden halt. Financially weakened when it ended, Mr Kuhn partnered with Swiss company Bucher-Guyer (now Bucher Industries). Business picked up and by the time Kuhn celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1928 was producing an average of 1,000 threshing machines per year. Grassland machine volumes were also increasing, and in 1970 Kuhn delivered the one-millionth machine.

Numerous acquisitions made during the last 30 years began in 1987 when plough maker Huard joined Kuhn, followed in 1993 by mixer wagon, straw distributor and silage cutter maker Audureau. In 1996, seed drills and sprayers expanded the range when Kuhn-Nodet joined the fold, followed in 2002 by American mixer wagon and manure spreader maker Knight Manufacturing.

In 2005, Kuhn acquired Brazilian precision drill maker Metasa, and in 2008, acquired French sprayer maker Blanchard. That same year it completed its hay and silage making equipment range by adding balers, wrappers, drum mowers and maize headers through the acquisition of the Kverneland Group Geldrop factory.

In 2011, the Group acquired a minority interest in Rauch, the German manufacturer of pneumatic seed drills and fertiliser spreaders. The Kansas-based Krause Corporation, which specialises in the manufacture of large width tillage tools, was also acquired the same year. The most recent acquisition was that of Brazilian self-propelled sprayer manufacturer Montana in 2014.

190 years for Kuhn

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

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