Gruezi - or "Greetings from Switzerland"! WINTERSTEIGER consolidates its position in Switzerland
The WINTERSTEIGER site in Switzerland was founded in 2002 in Hünenberg: the management team decided to consolidate the position of the Division Sports in one of the most important winter sports markets in the long term with its own subsidiary.
The initial launch in 2002 was based on taking over the then WINTERSTEIGER sales partner Toko and its employees: a branch manager, three sales staff, and three customer service technicians formed the core. They were supported by two colleagues in Ried, who were fully devoted to Switzerland in the areas of customer service and technical customer service. The sales territory of the newly founded company included the German, Romansh, and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland.
Responsibility for Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland) was deliberately transferred to the subsidiary in France, at that time SKID-WINTERSTEIGER, to ensure that linguistic and cultural differences did not cause any issues. Claus Wittmann from the headquarters in Ried was appointed as the branch manager. Ried remained the main administrative and operational site, which turned out to be a laborious and costly exercise in subsequent years.
Competitor's home market.
The fact that all the employees were already familiar with the product range and had already looked after the customer base before was a huge advantage for the newly founded company. The challenge: As number two on the Swiss market, the young company had to compete and assert itself against its powerful competitor Montana, also headquartered in Switzerland. The main focus in the early years was on the ski servicing machine sector.
Changes in management.
In 2006, WINTERSTEIGER brought the then branch manager Claus Wittmann back to Ried as the new overall manager and entrusted Daniel Kisslig with branch management. Daniel Kisslig has his roots at Toko and was actively involved in the introduction of WINTERSTEIGER products at Toko in the 1990s. It soon became apparent that the permanent presence of the new branch manager in Switzerland was a considerable advantage for all employees and that networking between WINTERSTEIGER and customers had become closer and more intensive as a result. In 2020, Daniel Kisslig retired and Sandro Gruber took over as manager of the subsidiary.
In 2023, WINTERSTEIGER Schweiz AG, with 20 employees, generated sales of approx. 10.4 million euros.