The German company Liebherr has been located at the heart of the De Hoef business estate for 35 years. The Dutch Liebherr branch is a major hub in the international world of mobile cranes. While the cranes are built in all shapes and sizes in the Liebherr factory in Ehingen in the south of Germany, crane sales to rental services takes place in Amersfoort. Its central location is its biggest advantage. For director Han Rekers, there can be no question whatsoever of relocating their activities anywhere else. “Take a map, define the absolute center of the Netherlands, and it’s Amersfoort you’ll find.”
Welcome to Liebherr Netherlands, a highly specialized company, where mechanics, electronics and software meet to build the most ultra-modern cranes. This company covers more than 50% of the national market. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that its Dutch branch is an important one in the Liebherr Group, a widely oriented company with no fewer than 42,000 staff worldwide operating in one of their 140 Liebherr entities. Their production activities range from fridges and freezers to earthmoving machines, engines and components for aviation and wind turbines.
Here in Amersfoort, twenty technicians prepare cranes for delivery to customers. Every day, they perform a feat of mechatronics, a complex field of expertise where electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and measurement and control technology meet. After that, it is all about delivering the best possible service to customers, says Rekers. “Besides our perfect products, this is our main strength. I insist on it all the time. We want to provide only the very best service. This is what Liebherr undertakes to deliver all over the world and what we’re well-known for. Whether it’s Japan or Russia: Liebherr either has its people there or sends its people there when a customer requires it.”
No glitter and glamor
“It’s a mega-company, but the Liebherr family is quite close by: there’s only one management layer between me and them. They’re very modest, approachable and genial people. Liebherr has that most German of qualities: Gründlichkeit. We’re not overdone. Our offices are very neat and well equipped, but there’s no glitter and glamor. Our business finances are very healthy: save before you spend.”
That’s exactly the mindset that makes Liebherr Netherlands fit into the Amersfoort region. For 35 years now. “Our technicians are mainly from the local area. In places like Nijkerk and Barneveld, people still grow up with outdoor lives. There’s plenty of space to be working on big machinery or do some tinkering with engines. So did I when I was a lad; I owned a stock car when I was only fourteen. And so you develop a feeling for cool engineering, for mechanics. That’s why this feels like a natural habitat.”
The company picked Amersfoort for its central location. Rekers: “If there’s one place that’s bang in the middle of the Netherlands, it’s Amersfoort. Take a map, define the absolute center of the Netherlands, and it’s Amersfoort you’ll find. There’s no getting around that. Our customers value this central location and this easy accessibility. We never need to apologize to a customer for being out in the sticks.”
Twice a month Rekers travels up and down to the factory in Germany, which is an easy air, rail or road journey from Amersfoort. Rekers: “I often fly there. Takes me 40 minutes to take the car up to the airport. But there are also excellent and fast train connections. It’s also an easy drive back from Germany to Amersfoort on the A12 and the A1. You just dash along very nicely and things only start to slow down when you get to town.”
Would you like to settle your business in Amersfoort too?
Amersfoort’s business manager Joost van Leur can provide you with more information and he can connect you to the right persons and businesses that will help you with settling, so you will have a smooth landing. You can contact Joost van Leur by calling +31655465706 or by filling out the form below: