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Pewag Striving for Larger Market Share in US

Published: May 6, 2014; 16:32 · (Vindobona)

The Austrian snow chain manufacturer appreciates the label “Made in USA”.

Chain manufacturer Pewag has established a new site in the US. / Picture: © Pewag Group

The decision by Austrian chain manufacturer Pewag to establish a subsidiary in Pueblo, Colorado, came as a complete sensation. The fact that Pewag produces snow chains is less exciting for the US state. After all, Colorado will be the host for next year’s Skiing World Championship and, with resorts like Beaver Creek and Vail, it offers wide-spread winter sport’s regions. Moreover, there is even a town called Snowmass Village in the north of the state. Also, the fact that the number of foreign investors in the Midwestern State is increasing is not particularly inciting uproar. Colorado is one of the first locations chosen as part of the campaign initiated by US-president Barack Obama to promote industrial production and innovative production engineering.

However, what is considered truly sensational is the long company’s history. Pewag stands out with a century-long history which traceable for more than 500 years, until the year 1479, when the manufacturer supplied chains for suits of armor. Now, the Austrian manufacturing enterprise is producing snow chains in Pueblo. After a constuction phase of three years, the factory was opened on May 3 and not only turns out to be Pewag’s first plant only in the US but even outside of Europe, where the company is present at twelve business locations.

The key decision to establish a plant in Pueblo was the proximity to clients in the US. Pewag is a supplier of the US Army, but also has other high-ranking clients such as the California Department, UPS or Fed-Ex. In the meantime, Pewag has gained a market share of around 20 percent in the US.

Mike Uhrenbacher, general manager of the US subsidiary, explains that particularly in the segment of snow chains very short-term orders could be made due to weather forecasts. Being on site “saves two to three weeks in time” for delivery, Uhrenbacher said. Owing to topographical conditions in the region 65 percent of the snow chain market of the US is west of Pueblo.

Yet, the decision about establishing a new plant in the US was not only made for being closer in touch with clients and respond to their needs more quickly but is also an appreciation of the label “Made in USA”. Pewag regards it as conscious differentiation from cheaper industrial production locations such as Asia. Instead, the manufacturer takes advantage of the know-how of employees in the steel industry since Pueblo is one of the main steel-producing cities in the US. “Top products like those procuded by Pewag can only be manufactured under the best conditions with the best processes and highly-motivated employees,” CEO and owner of Pewag Ägyd Pengg pointed out. From this month on, 55 employees will work at the new production site in Pueblo. The giant billboard saying “We can do it! Made in USA” is only one of many testimonies.

Furthermore, the day of the groundbreaking of the future plant on May 3 was declared “Pewag Day” by the City Council of Pueblo.

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