FOR US, EVERYDAY LIFE IS THE BEST CHALLENGE IN THE WORLD
Everyday, we at Kärcher work towards making a difference. Whether a simple driveway or Mount Rushmore – outstanding cleaning performance matters to us – down to the last centimetre.
We place exceptional demands on our cleaning solutions and services to change the daily lives of our customers. Sometimes we do things that nobody else does. And because we enjoy mastering the the most monumental challenges, we have been cleaning historical monuments and buildings for more than 30 years as part of our cultural sponsorship programme. From the colonnades in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, the Colossi of Memnon in Egypt – dating back over 3,300 years – to the heads of the presidents on Mount Rushmore, we are happy to take on any challenge – no matter how monumental.
The founder of Kärcher, Alfred Kärcher was highly talented: he was an innovative inventor who was never satisfied with the first available solution. Whether it was de-icing aircraft wings or cleaning large surfaces efficiently and thoroughly, he was always inventive and committed to providing outstanding products for his customers. Sometimes even before they knew what they needed.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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 has been growing rapidly in Australia, with a national presence of now 10 Kärcher Centres of which are 6 Dealer owned and operated. Further, there are 2 dedicated Kärcher Stores and a vast National Service Network throughout the country.
We are also proud to be a preferred supplier to Australia‘s largest cleaning contractors and leading industry brands.
Our mission is to make the world a better and cleaner place. A little better every day.