Liebherr has been a specialist in the refrigeration and freezer industry for more than 60 years. Yet this seems a rather unusual branch of production for a company that started out making cranes and construction machinery. How did it come about? Let’s take a quick look at the company’s history…

There’s one question we hear from our customers time and time again: “How come Liebherr’s also into refrigerators?” Worldwide, people are familiar with the sight of cranes, excavators and other construction machines emblazoned with the name ‘Liebherr’, working on building sites and major construction projects. So, the question that’s in everyone’s mind comes as no surprise to us. We thought it’d be a good idea to answer it in a blog, after all, how come construction machinery and refrigerators do go hand in hand?


A look at the company history shows that, in 1953, Hans Liebherr was approached by the branch manager of his local bank and asked if he’d be interested in a refrigerator factory that had gone bankrupt.

He visited the plant and enquired about the production times for refrigerator manufacture, as well as their prices – and then he compared these with the prices of the manufacturer from whom he just bought an appliance. And this was the catalyst: Hans Liebherr decided to enter the world of refrigeration and freezing, but not by taking on the bankrupt factory; rather, he built his own production facility in Ochsenhausen in the Biberach district of Germany. Company founder, Hans Liebherr, had the first refrigerator produced in Ochsenhausen back in 1954. Mass production began the following year.

It was the era of the post-war ‘German economic miracle’ and, at this point, only 10 percent of German households owned an electrical refrigerator – both facts unlikely to have gone unnoticed by Hans Liebherr. In this brand new sector, it was the perfect market environment to start developing, manufacturing and, subsequently, continually improving quality appliances. His decision has certainly been proved right as Liebherr now looks back on over 60 years of success with its refrigeration and freezing products!

Today, the Hausgeräte (household appliances) division has four production sites that manufacture top quality refrigerators and freezers, chest freezers, wine cabinets and laboratory appliances in:

  • Ochsenhausen
  • Lienz/Austria
  • Marica/Bulgaria
  • Kluang/Malaysia

The early days of Liebherr refrigerator production. The Ochsenhausen plant in 1959.


The main Liebherr Hausgeräte plant in Ochsenhausen today, where around 1,900 employees are based.

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