13. June 2017
The STENHØJ GROUP is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. For 100 years the company has delivered innovative solutions and high quality forward thinking products to the automotive industry, both in Denmark and internationally.
The STENHØJ history is known for innovative thinking, agility, initiative and wish to create a large international company. That is how it was 100 years ago and how the company remains today.
A producer was born
"I would like to be a producer and have 100 employees". These were the words from Sigurd Stenhøj to his mother, before he started school. The start of realising the dream was in 1917, when he bought his master's smithy for the small amount of 3000 DKK.
However, it was only in 1929 when his lifework became alive, and like many good ideas, it was the small daily challenges that was the source of the idea and success.
To satisfy the need from the increased number of cars on the Danish market, Stenhøj Smithy had expanded its business area to also repairing cars. In the middle of 1920's, the Chevrolet cars were introduced to the Danish market, and Sigurd took one these cars to his workshop. The low Chevrolet models created challenges in the workshop. Especially for one of the mechanics, who was of a bigger size. He could simply not get under the low car. That is how Sigurd Stenhøj came up with the idea for the "car-lift".
From Denmark to the rest of the world
Going international has always been one of STENHØJ's ambitions and a cornerstone in the company from the very beginning.
Things were going really well for Sigurd Stenhøj and the news started to spread all over the world. All the way to South Africa, where a Danish engineer imported Danish products. The United Kingdom, Morocco, Norway, Latvia and Egypt soon followed, and STENHØJ has continued its success all over the world.
"If you turn a globe and put your finger on a random place, the chance of finding a STENHØJ dealer in the neighbourhood is very likely", says CEO Søren Dyøe Madsen, he continues; "We work continuously to build up new markets all over the world". This strategy was the foundation for the launching the brand AUTOPSTENHOJ in 2016. The German daughter company autop and Danish STENHØJ merged to present a complete product portfolio for the world market. "Our aim is to be the market leading supplier and customer's first choice, when it comes to investments in lifts, workshop equipment and services", tells the CEO Søren Madsen
Innovation and customised solutions
"Innovation is a skill that many people miss". This was stated by Sigurd STENHØJ's when the war hit Denmark in 1940. At this time Sigurd STENHØJ got the opportunity to use his own resourcefulness.
Due to the war, steel became a scarce resource. But for Sigurd there was a solution for everything. He was well prepared and had bought large quantities of steel before the war had influenced the market. However, he needed more steel. So what do you do? You send divers with steel cutters to the bottom of the sea and get the material from wrecks.
But the war was still hampering the demand, so Sigurd researched the market to see what needs had appeared. That resulted in some inventions such as the peat turner, potato boiler, and the gas generator, which kept Denmark driving during the war, when fuel was a scarce resource.
In a changing world flexibility and adjustments are more important than ever. STENHØJ is no longer making the gas generators or the peat turners, but new ideas, innovation, and thinking outside the box remains at the forefront of the company and its employees. Now the focus is on developing quality products, which follows the latest technological developments and fulfils the customer demand, both now and in the future.
The main part of STENHØJ's turnover comes from the automotive industry, however, the company is still developing and sells a wide range of products for other industries including compressors, industrial components/parts for washing machines and presses and broaching machines for large production facilities - as well as car factories.
STENHØJ's products are today recognised to be developed closely with car manufacturers and known all over the world for premium products, where solution, quality and durability is the best in the market. The close cooperation with car manufacturers secures a product portfolio, which lives up to the demand of the future.
The STENHØJ GROUP consists of 10 daughter companies and approx. 600 employees. STENHØJ is still based in Barrit, where the factory still produces lifts, compressors, presses and broaching machines.
The company is still family owned. CEO Leif Nielsen acquired the company in 1993 and later Søren and Lene Madsen took over the business.