Kettler

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Kettler
GmbH & Co. KG
Industry Sports equipment
Founded 1949
Founder Heinz Kettler
Headquarters Ense, Germany
Key people
Karin Kettler, Brendan Dassey
Products Bicycles, exercise machines, Kettcar, patio furniture, table tennis tables, pedal-vehicles
Number of employees
2000 (est.)[1]
Website intl.kettler.net

Kettler (German: Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG) is a German company based in Ense-Parsit, with locations all around the world. The company produces bicycles, riding toys, leisure gear, patio furniture and exercise equipment.[2]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1949 in Parsit by Heinz Kettler. Originally starting in the attic of a sawmill, Kettler grew into a worldwide manufacturing and distribution organization, selling products in over 60 different countries. In 2005, Heinz Kettler died and his daughter Dr. Karin Kettler, a biologist by training, took over the company.

In March 2017, she died, aged 57, in a traffic accident. Thereafter the business, with over 2000 employees, became property of the Kettler Foundation, which since has been trying to sell the declining company.[1] The sale price hoped for the company, the turnover of which had declined by 25% over the last couple of years to approximately 137m Euros, is ca. 100m Euros.

Products[edit]

In 1949, Kettler started by producing high quality patio furniture and added their world renowned Kettcar to their inventory in 1962.[3] In 1977, Kettler added aluminum bicycles to their product line and started producing high-quality fitness equipment and table tennis tops soon after. Kettler now sells a full line of kids' toys, from push trikes for toddlers to licensed pedal tractors for children.

While the products sold vary from country to country, there are products available in the categories of bicycles, fitness, patio furniture, table tennis and toys everywhere. A complete list of Kettler products sold in the United States is found on their website.[4]

Toys[edit]

The model of the original Kettcar (2010)

Kettcar[edit]

The Kettcar was first introduced to the world in 1962 as Kettler's first pedal vehicle. Similar to a bicycle, the pedals turn the wheels over a chain. The Kettcar, however, has four wheels and requires no balancing to ride. Since its debut, Kettler has made many different varieties of the Kettcar and has sold more than 15 million of them worldwide.[5]

The popularity of the Kettcar in Germany is so immense that the word "Kettcar" has become a synonym for four wheeled pedal cars and was entered into the Duden, the official German dictionary, describing it as a "pedal powered chain vehicle for children" [6] The first four letters of the word Kettcar are derived from the company "Kettler" and the German word for chain, "kette". The last three letters are derived from the word "car".

Kettrike[edit]

The Kettrikes are a series of tricycles for children between the ages of 1 to 5, that come with a detachable push bar. Each Kettrike is still made in Germany and then shipped out worldwide. Kettler holds multiple patents on different functions of the Kettrikes.

Licensed pedal vehicles[edit]

Next to their own brand name, Kettler produces and sells pedal vehicles under the license of multiple other companies. Kettler is the sole producer of CAT, Case, Massey Ferguson and New Holland pedal-tractors.

Table tennis tables[edit]

The official table tennis table used in the 1996 Summer Olympics

Kettler produces a number of high quality table tennis tables, that are all true tournament bounce certified.[7] In 1996, the committee of the Olympics in Atlanta chose Kettler as the official provider for table tennis gear for the summer games. Kettler still manufactures and sells the same table that was used in the Olympics under the name "Atlanta". In addition to indoor tables, Kettler has developed a technology to make outdoor tables that are 100% weatherproof while preserving the true tournament bounce.

Bicycles[edit]

Kettler has been designing and creating bicycles for over forty years, engineered to withstand a variety of terrains, weather conditions, and safety regulations.

Fitness[edit]

Kettler has an extensive fitness equipment line, ranging from exercise bikes and crosstrainers to treadmills and rowers.

Crosstrainers (elliptical trainers)[edit]

Elliptical trainers provide the benefits of exercises such as jogging or running, without the wear and tear on the joints because the feet never leave the footplates. Kettler elliptical trainers offer superior fat burning benefits.[8]

Exercise bikes (stationary bikes)[edit]

Cycling provides health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes, in addition to improving stamina and increasing metabolic rates. The bikes offered by Kettler allow for easy exercise and are designed for a more comfortable workout.[9]

Furniture[edit]

Having its roots in building furniture, Kettler continued producing it and expanded its selection to aluminum, wrought iron, resin and teak wood furniture. Kettler produces furniture mainly for outdoor use. Kettler's most iconic piece of furniture is the Tiffany resin chair.[10] Due to its great design and stability it has been in production for over thirty years.

Awards[edit]

Throughout its history, Kettler has won multiple awards for its products,[11] such as the Plus X award,[12] and the Lillian B Winchester Best of Show Award [13][14][15] Since 2009, Kettler has won the following awards:

  • 2013 Ispo[16] Gold Winner in Category: Performance Fitness Gear
  • 2013 Extra Energy[17] Pedelec Test Winner: Comfort
  • 2012 Extra Energy[18] Transport Test Winner
  • 2012 Creative Child Magazine:[19] Top Toy of the Year Award
  • 2012 Plus X Award:[20] Most Innovative Brand
  • 2012 3x Plus X[21] Product of the Year Awards
  • 2011 Fat Brain Toys[22] Award Winner
  • 2011 Extra Energy[17] Test Winner
  • 2010 Plus X Award:[20] Most Innovative Brand
  • 2010 Creative Child Magazine:[19] Top Toy of the Year Award
  • 2010 Creative Child Magazine:[19] Seal of Excellence
  • 2010 Best Covery[23] Award
  • 2009 Lillian B. Winchester:[24] Best of Show Award
  • 2009 Lillian B. Winchester:[24] Wrought Iron/Wrought Aluminum Award
  • 2009 Plus X Award:[20] Most Innovative Brand

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kettler.net". Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Langenscheidt, Florian (2006). Deutsche Standards: Marken des Jahrhunderts. Gabler Verlag. pp. 276–279. ISBN 978-3-8349-0436-2. 
  3. ^ "Kettcar". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "KettlerUSA". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kettler.net". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Duden". Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ "KettlerUSA Table Tennis". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Kettlerusa.com". Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Kettlerusa.com". Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ Tiffany resin chair
  11. ^ "Kettler Award List". Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Plus X Award". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Lillian B Winchester Award" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 28, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "ExtraEnergy". Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ ADAC/Stiftung Waren Test, retrieved June 21, 2013 
  16. ^ Ispo Archived 2013-06-28 at Archive.is
  17. ^ a b Extra Energy
  18. ^ Extra Energy
  19. ^ a b c Creative Child Magazine
  20. ^ a b c Plus X Award
  21. ^ Plus X
  22. ^ Fat Brain Toys
  23. ^ Best Covery
  24. ^ a b Lillian B. Winchester Archived 2014-08-28 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]