Liebherr has been a specialist in the refrigeration and freezer industry for over 60 years. 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 our company history…

If we had to pick one question we hear from customers more than any other it would be this one: “How come Liebherr is making refrigerators?”

People are familiar with the sight of our cranes, excavators and other construction machinery, emblazoned with the iconic LIEBHERR logo. We are an integral part of many major construction projects at sites in all corners of the world. True, we are a household name (sorry…) in many markets when it comes to our refrigeration products. Yet quite a few people are taken by surprise when they find out we’re actually part of the same family-owned company.

How do you go from making heavy duty construction machinery to making state of the art refrigerators and freezers?

Company founder, Hans Liebherr, had the Ochenhausen facility ready to produce the first refrigerator in 1954. Mass production began the following year.

Let’s open our company vault: In 1953, Hans Liebherr was approached by the branch manager of his local bank, who asked him if he’d be interested in a refrigerator factory that had just filed for bankruptcy.

Liebherr was curious and visited the plant. He inquired about the specifics of making refrigerators: Production times, logistics- and pricing. He compared the latter with those of a manufacturer he had just recently bought an appliance from. This was the catalyst: Hans Liebherr decided to enter the world of refrigeration and freezing. Not by taking on the bankrupt factory though. He built his own production facility in the small town of Ochsenhausen in Southern Germany.

It was the era of the post-war ‘German economic miracle’. Only 10 percent of German households owned an electric refrigerator. Both of these facts were unlikely to have gone unnoticed by Hans Liebherr, whose products were literally building Germany’s future. This was the perfect market environment for a new sector: Developing, manufacturing and continually improving quality appliances. His decision has certainly proven wise. Liebherr can now look back on over 60 years of success with its refrigeration and freezing products.

Today, the household appliances division has four production sites that manufacture high quality refrigerators and freezers, chest freezers, wine cabinets and laboratory appliances. Proudly engineered in Ochsenhausen, Germany, Liebherr refrigerators are built to the highest quality standards in

  • Ochsenhausen, Germany
  • Lienz, Austria
  • Marica, Bulgaria
  • Kluang, Malaysia
The early days of Liebherr refrigerator production. The Ochsenhausen plant in 1959.

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

The main Liebherr Appliances plant in Ochsenhausen today. Around 1,900 men and women are employed here

The main Liebherr Appliances plant in Ochsenhausen today. Around 1,900 men and women are employed here.

 

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