May, 31 2010
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Schimmel starts anniversary year with hiring of staff and new models
In its 125th year the Braunschweig family piano business continues its premium strategy with a new model offensive. The anniversary celebrations on May 1st in Braunschweig Cathedral that were attended by numerous dealers from all over the world were the starting point for a long-prepared new model strategy.
Since the finalization of the insolvency plan on March 30th 2010, the business outlook for the future is positive. “We were able to hire a lot of new staff since March and now we have a continuously increasing number of orders. The positive news is that we have overcome chapter 11. The fact that we are 100% family-owned again gives us more energy than we have ever had”, says Hannes Schimmel-Vogel.
On May 1st Schimmel celebrated its anniversary with ceremonies and a colorful program in Braunschweig Cathedral. The minister for business affairs of the state of Lower Saxony as well as the second mayor of the City of Braunschweig gave speeches. The president of the Gesamtverband Deutscher Musikalienhändler (organization of German music suppliers), Arthur Knopp, and the president of Euro-Piano, Nils Henrik Jansen also spoke. The highlight was certainly the concert of Gesa Lücker, who is well known in the business as “the face of Schimmel” and appears on the cover of the Schimmel Konzert brochure.
After the ceremonies Schimmel and 400 guests closed the day with a reception in the Braunschweig State Museum beneath the Dome at the historic castle square.
On the previous day an international dealers’ meeting took place. “We decided to use the chance to present our new model strategy and our anniversary models to our dealers,” Hannes Schimmel-Vogel concludes. Additionally, the dealers have had the chance to visit our factory and makes see the newly renovated and strengthened production.
The brand strategy of the company was an often discussed issue at the dealer meeting. Against the trend in the business, Schimmel continually positioned its brand as higher in quality. After completely new models in the past decade and a very innovative technical approach which helped improve the quality of the instruments, another new phase is now about to be started. “We were able o finish a long development process on time and have surprisingly come up with further improvements in sound and playability and a new design concept”, says Hannes Schimmel-Vogel proudly.
The company is planning on further investments in its headquarters in Braunschweig. Part of the planned investments will be the qualification of staff. Besides this continuous development the company is planning on educating a lot of trainees. At current around 15% of the staff are trainees. “Our first aim is to educate new piano makers for our factory. But besides that our dealers need first-class piano builders and we had and have the reputation to be the best and biggest educator in the business. That is something we are very proud of”, Schimmel-Vogel explains.
What makes this excellent education possible is an extremely high and deep in-house production capability. In contrast to its competitors Schimmel makes its own cases and keyboards. “In the future we will show this philosophy right on our instruments”, says Schimmel-Vogel. One key to the outstanding quality for the company is the control of all production processes. All pianos will be inscribed with “made in Braunschweig /Germany” from now on, according to Schimmel-Vogel.
About the company’
Schimmel is the leading German premium manufacturer of pianos. Here, in Braunschweig, the old, established company crafts high quality pianos of great international reputation. As an internationally operating company, Schimmel realizes considerably more than half its business volume abroad. Germany still remains an important market area. With its 125 employees, Schimmel will produce about 2,300 pianos in 2010.