STIHL UNDERLINES DEALER COMMITMENT
And unveils new products
STIHL has clarified its commitment to dealers at the annual press meeting held at its German HQ this week, alongside the unveiling of a series of new products, including the industry’s first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection and a ‘team’ operating concept for multiple units of its iMow robotic mower.
Still sold under the Viking brand for now, STIHL has developed a ‘team’ concept for its iMow robot mower, allowing multiple units to work together
Dr Bertram Kandziora, executive board chairman, and Norbert Pick, executive board member for marketing and sales, took the opportunity offered by a gathering of European trade and consumer press from both domestic and professional titles to stress that any retailer of STIHL petrol products must have full workshop facilities, service training and parts support.
“This is why we make a distinction between garden centre or store retailers, which have the potential to be stockists of our cordless products, and dealers, who have the specialist knowledge and resources to sell, support and service our petrol products as well,” said Mr Pick.
“As we grow our range we anticipate that the majority of our cordless product sales will be at the lower end of our price range – entry-level machines in the £100-350 bracket. But while the battery market is growing at a rapid rate, our belief is that this type of power will not replace petrol in professional products any time soon, for reasons such as battery size required for longer working periods.”
The plan to gradually merge the Viking product line into the STIHL range, which will be completed by the end of 2018, is ongoing, and STIHL unveiled a selection of consumer products under the new branding, including the first Stihl cordless rotary mowers. The RMA 339 C and RMA 448 TC are four-wheel machines with respective cutting widths of 37cm and 46cm and mono handles for easy grass box access from the left-hand side. Also new is the RMA 2 RT, a 46cm mulching mower. All feature 36V lithium ion batteries. STIHL also showed off its new cordless KMA 130 R KombiMotor battery-powered multi-tool, which can be fitted with 11 different STIHL KombiAttachments.
On top of these domestic and semi-professional products were two other developments aimed at professional users. On the chainsaw front, STIHL revealed it has the world’s first chainsaw with electronically-controlled fuel injection in the final stages of testing. Fuel mixing is sensor-controlled, and the engine has no carburettor.
Meanwhile, the firm also unveiled the ‘iMow TeaM’ concept for its robot mower, which allows up to ten units to work together.
There will be a full report in the next issue of Service Dealer.