From a medium-sized company to an international group of companies

20 years after the company is founded, Liebherr employs about 6,000 members of staff around the world. Turnover has a continual upward trend despite the fluctuating market economy. Liebherr expands and establishes additional business units.

The RT 1000 crawler excavator

The RT 1000 crawler excavator "manufactured in Colmar" has an operating weight of 20 tons.

1961 First site in France

At the end of the 1950s, Liebherr introduces companies in Ireland, South Africa and Austria to expand the organization beyond its own borders.

While exploring locations for a new production site for crawler excavators, Liebherr opts for Colmar in Elsass, France. This central location in Europe is ideal for transportation of the machines. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to break into the local market.

Big machines for big tasks

After the cornerstone was laid in July 1961, the Colmar site develops rapidly. As the industries for excavators expand, the design and technology of the machines are enhanced, and the French factory becomes a prominent manufacturer of technologically advanced crawler excavators.The progressive specialization leads to new business areas such as mining excavators, which will be built only one decade later.

Prof. Dr. Weyres awards Hans Liebherr with an honorary doctorate at Aachen's technical university.

Prof. Dr. Weyres awards Hans Liebherr with an honorary doctorate at Aachen's technical university.

Presentation of an honorary doctorate in engineering by the deacon of the technical university in Aachen, Germany

1964 Honorary doctorate for Hans Liebherr

More than 30 patents for tower cranes, about 20 for hydraulic excavators and in excess of a dozen for concrete mixers – at many sites around the world, work is simplified thanks to innovations from Liebherr.

Aside from the technological achievements, it is above all the company's performance, too, that Hans Liebherr is reputed for. The technical university in Aachen distinguishes this accomplishment with an honorary doctorate.

1968 A positive balance sheet after two decades of growth

In the second half of the 1960s, Liebherr continues to build upon his success despite periods of recession. The balance of the 20th business year: 400 million Deutschmarks in turnover and 6,000 employees around the world. Liebherr has established itself successfully as a pioneering manufacturer of construction machinery and has acquired new areas of business across all parts of industry.

The beginning of the Liebherr mobile crane story: The AK 40 can lift up to six tons.

The beginning of the Liebherr mobile crane story: The AK 40 can lift up to six tons.

1969 From Ehingen to the whole wide world

Liebherr expands not just outside of, but also within Germany. In 1969, the Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH is founded, whereupon it develops into the leading provider of mobile cranes and crawler cranes. Despite tough competitive conditions, Liebherr's order books completely fill up in the ensuing years. Export picks up pace. The research and development department makes its contribution towards a successful expansion. Whether truck-mounted cranes, ship cranes or offshore solutions – the engineers work meticulously at finding new opportunities for deployment and ever-increasing payloads.