Baden-Württemberg can be considered the German state of hidden champions par excellence. In the state of tinkerers and inventors, many a business model has been developed that is now a global leader. We introduce three of these “hidden world champions”:
The presented companies belong to the largest companies in Baden-Württemberg.
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1. Sto SE & Co. KGaA, Stühlingen-Wheat: 1.4 billion euros turnover
In 1955, Wilhelm Stotmeister – hence the company name “Sto”- took over a lime works in Weizen in southern Baden. It formed the nucleus of today’s Sto Group, a company in the building materials and construction chemicals sector. The company sees itself as a “leading international manufacturer of products and systems for coating buildings”. Sto manufactures paints, plasters, varnishes, coating and thermal insulation composite systems in various Group companies. Other business areas: Facade systems, floor coatings, concrete restoration and acoustic systems. The group employs more than 5,300 people. The founding family Stotmeister is still the main owner of the group of companies with 90 percent of the voting ordinary shares.
2. TeamViewer AG, Göppingen: 460 million euros in sales
TeamViewer is one of the not-so-numerous German software companies that also has an international name. The company has been around since 2005. AG one is since 2019 to be able to go public at that time. TeamViewer has grown up with a software solution and platform for remote maintenance of computers and mobile devices. It supports all major desktop, smartphone and tablet operating systems. TeamViewer is now expanding its business model in the direction of Industry 4.0. This involves the digital networking of complete value chains. Another area of expansion: augmented reality. Today, the company employs around 1,250 people at 17 locations in 10 countries.
3. Schuler AG, Göppingen: 6.7 billion euros in sales
Schuler is the world market leader in the manufacture of forming machines using presses. The company was founded in 1839 by Louis Schuler and was already involved in sheet metal forming machines at that time. Presses were first manufactured at the turn of the 20th century. They still form the core business. Schuler presses are used to form sheet metal parts for industrial applications – for example, body parts in car manufacturing, engine components, or sinks in the furniture industry. The company has almost 6,600 employees and is represented in 26 countries. Production locations exist in Europe, America and China. Since 2013, Schuler has been part of the Austrian Andritz Group, a mechanical and plant engineering company headquartered in Graz.
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