Willkommen – Vítejte – Witamy – vitaj. Would you know where you are when you hear one of those salutations, entering a Zeppelin branch?
If your guess is some (South) Eastern European countries, you are on the right track! Today we will have a closer look at some of the countries that represent Zeppelin’s international footprint. In the 1990s, we started to extend outside of Germany. Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia were early openings (though, at that time, it was still the former Republic of Czechoslovakia), closely followed by Austria and later on joined by Poland.
Czech Republic and Slovakia (until 1993: Czechoslovakia)
Zeppelin’s first geographic footprint beyond Germany in terms of responsibility for the distribution and service of Caterpillar products was the former Republic of Czechoslovakia. In 1991, Zeppelin founded, together with „Phoenix Praha A.S.“ (Caterpillar dealer in Czechoslovakia since 1969), a company called „Phoenix-Zeppelin spol. s.r.o.“ in Prague and continued the distribution and service of Caterpillar construction machinery and equipment. When the Republic of Czechoslovakia split into two independent countries in 1993, Zeppelin also opened a branch in Banská Bystrica in Slovakia to cater to both territories. The headquarters for the region have been located in Modletice south of Prague since 1995. Zeppelin expanded their activities both in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia and started to offer rental solutions to its customers in 1998. Today, Zeppelin operates 14 branch offices throughout the Czech Republic and 5 branch offices in Slovakia.
In 1992, Zeppelin and the Austrian company „Eisner Baumaschinen Vertrieb und Service GmbH“ (which has been active in the distribution and service of Caterpillar products in Austria since 1947) founded a joint venture. The new company – with its headquarters in Vienna – offered distribution and service of construction-, mining- and agricultural machinery. In the following years, the company rose to become a market leader for Caterpillar products in Austria and in 1998, Zeppelin acquired the remaining stakes to become the sole owner. With branch offices in Vienna, Linz, Innsbruck, Graz and Villach, we further enhanced our success and opened a new headquarters in Fischamend (near Vienna) in 1999. In May 2001, the company was re-named “Zeppelin Österreich GmbH“. Zeppelin offers – apart from the distribution and service of new and used Caterpillar construction machinery -, diesel engines, power sets, a range of Thwaites wheel dumpers as well as Weber MT compression technology.
As we always strive to create solutions for our customers, we were happy to enlarge our product offering with rental machinery and equipment in 2005, creating a dedicated company (MVS Zeppelin Österreich GmbH) which was re-named into “Zeppelin Rental Österreich GmbH” in 2012. Thus, also our colleagues in Austria had a jubilee in 2020 – 15 years of rental services and solutions! As of today, Zeppelin Rental operates sites in Fischamed, Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Brunn am Gebirge which would soon be transferred to Wiener Neudorf. All in all, around 330 Zeppelin employees in Austria create solutions for our customers.
Zeppelin launched its activities in Poland in 2005 with the sales and service of HYSTER forklifts, an activity that we successfully continue until today. Other key business line has been traditionally MANITOU telescopic handlers sold to industrial market segment. In June 2017, the Zeppelin Group acquired the organized part of the INTRAC Polska Sp. z o.o, thereby extending its activities in Poland. As part of the acquisition, Zeppelin took over sales for MANITOU products to construction market and Grove mobile cranes as well. With this move, Zeppelin broadened their product portfolio, while also increasing the coverage of the Polish industrial and construction markets. This allowed the company to expand its product portfolio and its service and sales network of branches in Poland, thereby strengthening its market position.
1990s: Zeppelin goes international