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Kohler: Over 100 Years In Business

April 29, 2013

The U.S is a nation of immigrants and their dreams, aspiration and hard work produced a prosperous nation. One immigrant who made it big in America was John Michael Kohler who came from Austria. He bought Sheboyan Union Iron and Steel Foundry in 1897. The firm made cast-iron and steel implements for farmers in the locality, castings for the city furniture factories and ornamental iron articles such as cemetery crosses and urns.

The company was originally called J.M. Kohler Sons Inc. and changed its name to Kohler Co. in 1913. Kohler was innovative producing new products for the market.  From farm implements it then went into manufacturing products for plumbing. Today Kohler has around 30,000 employees with 52 manufacturing locations in six continents. The company has more than 50 global brands. Annual revenue runs at around $5 billion. Its headquarters is in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Kohler has four business groups. One is the Kitchen & Bath Group an international leader offering a range of products such fixtures, faucets, cabinetry and accessories. It produces plumbing products for residential, commercial and industrial markets. Well-known brands include KOHLER and STERLING.

The Kohler Co. Global Power Group has been business in the U.S. since the early 1920s. It is now a global enterprise producing generators; transfer switches; switchgear and controllers; gas, gasoline and diesel engines. This group is now made up of Kohler Power Systems (U.S. and Asia), SDMO Industries (France) and Maquigeral (Brazil) manufacturing generators for residential, marine, industrial, portable and mobile applications. The group has other kinds of businesses in U.S, Asia and Europe.

There are two luxury home furniture sectors, Decorative Products and Furniture that make up the Kohler Co. Interiors Group.  Its furniture brands include Baker, McGUIRE, and MARK DAVID.  Its decorative brands include ANN SACKS tile and stone.

A group at bit more diversified is the Kohler Co. Hospitality & Real Estate. It owns golf clubs and resorts in Wisconsin. It has another golf resort in the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews, Scotland.

The Kohler family still owns and runs the company headed by chairman and CEO Hebert V. Kohler, Jr. You can sure bet they’re working hard so this company will last for another 100 years.

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