Gustav Wolf

13 Feb

Our trip to meet wire rope manufacturing company Gustav Wolf was an adventure! It was our first time outside of Shanghai and it was nice to see the countryside a bit as we drove through snowy weather to Suzhou. 

We were met by the incredibly nice and friendly Hans Huber. Now not many people would think that learning about elevator wires is an especially riveting lesson, I have to admit it was very worthwhile. Gustav Wolf products were put into the worlds tallest residential building (located in Australia) as well as the Trump Tower (Chicago). They produce wire for elevators, mines, cranes, aircrafts, and other automotive companies. Their transportation customers are Otis, Aeroquipe, Kone, and Mannesmann. They were established in 1887. Yep, I said 1887. They sure know how to adapt with the times.

Why did this German-based company decide to do business in the golden banana?

Well in 2008 they saw an opportunity to focus on the local market in China and specialize in small to medium sized elevator systems. The growing economy and building growth gave Gustav Wolf the chance to supply OEM and distribution partners in the local Chinese market. Today Gustav Wolf has 6 facilities in 5 countries with over 700 employees.

We also learned that snow shovels are uncommon in these parts. If it does snow, the Gustav Wolf building might have 5 men on top of the roof shoveling off snow. Probably not 6 though.

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4 Responses to “Gustav Wolf”

  1. Ruben Mkrtichyan February 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    This was one of the companies that really took an advantage of Chinese low cost labor and the huge Chinese market.

  2. Tiffany Lu February 20, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    This was one of my favorite presentations during the tour. The presentation was so loved because Hans delivered the presentation in very detail. I was excited to learn how they set up the factory in Suzhou, how they chose a right partner, how they take the advantage of China’s growing economy to expend the market shares.

    • Jennifer Campbell February 21, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      He really did have the best, well thought out presentation. I think I counted over 100 slides.

    • Elena Strasser February 21, 2011 at 7:39 am #

      I absolutely agree, Tiffany. I really enjoyed this presentation as well, and not only because it’s a German company :-)
      Hans really guided us through their learning process and it was very practical information that he shared with us. It was also very reassuring to see that a company with German standards succeeded in replicating their success in China. For example, their enforcement of the German ISO certificate in China demonstrates the importance of clear and structured processes and management.

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