Mrs Wohlfarth, Mr Liebherr, the Group is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024. Your grandfather, the founder of the company, Hans Liebherr was known for his pioneering spirit. What do you think he would have liked in particular about the group of companies today? Where does his pioneering spirit live on?

Jan Liebherr: We have enjoyed healthy, sustainable and organic growth from the foundation of the company to the present day. Our grandfather would certainly be impressed if he could see how the products that he introduced have been developed and how the range of products has increased.

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: He would also be happy that the second generation continued to build up the Group, expanded it immensely and handed it over successfully to us as the third generation. And he would be very pleased about the diverse range of technology that we now offer. His pioneering spirit can still be felt in every Liebherr product in some way, as innovation and progress continue to be at the heart of our company.

Which moments or successes in the company’s history have been particularly significant from your perspective?

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: The first ten years of the company’s existence were definitely decisive. They were shaped by some groundbreaking new products. In my opinion, the early internationalisation of our company was a brave and pioneering step. Our grandfather already expanded to South Africa and Ireland back in the late 1950s. Many of the foundations for our current product segments were laid at this time. It was also important that the Group grew organically, from its own strength and own ideas – a principle to which we remain faithful. This goes hand in hand with the fact that we have always been able to successfully overcome periods of economic weakness throughout our company’s history.

Jan Liebherr: It’s equally worth noting that we developed our own expertise in component development at an early stage, which enabled us to offer our customers tailor-made solutions. The efficiency and environmental friendliness of products have also played an important role in our company for a long time. The early introduction of CFC-free domestic appliances in 1993 is a good example of this. Our entire Group – as we know it today – was also shaped by the restructuring into product areas in 2002.

How does the past influence the company today?

Jan Liebherr: Our past achievements are undoubtedly the basis for our current success. They have got us to where we are today. And they have a significant impact on what we stand for and our ability to position ourselves in the market. The pioneering spirit of our early years is alive everywhere in the company. Our history inspires us to also take on future challenges.

You both completed your first year as vice president and president of the administrative board of Liebherr-International AG in 2023. What were the highlights for you?

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: The last year took us to many of our sites around the world. This not only gave us a good insight into the current developments on the ground, but often gave us the valuable opportunity to talk to people in person. We were particularly pleased with the exceptionally positive response at Conexpo, North America’s biggest construction trade show. It was a striking confirmation of our strong market position and our great customer satisfaction. Equally noteworthy for me was the inauguration of the ‘Haus Montafon’ extension at the Löwen Hotel in Schruns.

Jan Liebherr: Our partnership with Fortescue, to develop emissions-free solutions for the mining sector, made significant progress last year. The first T 264 mining trucks from the major contract have already been delivered and the integration of the zero-emissions battery and fuel cell technology into the T 264 is in full swing. And we achieved another milestone with the delivery of the 2,000th crane in one year from our plant in Ehingen.

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: We also achieved major things in aerospace in 2023, securing the contract to supply electro-mechanic actuators for the flight control system of the electric eVTOL aircraft from Eve. The actuators with fully integrated electronics are among the first in the world to be used for primary flight control. And these are just some of the milestones from last year.

What were your greatest challenges last year?

Jan Liebherr: Although we managed to stabilise the supply chains to some extent, they continued to pose difficulties in some of our divisions. There were also declines in demand in some product segments and the global political situation is still creating uncertainty. Despite these challenges, we remained on course overall and navigated our company through these changeable times.

Let’s take a look at the figures. How would you rate the last business year in this regard?

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: Our overall assessment is very positive. Despite the occasionally challenging environment, we were able to increase both our revenue and our operating result. The revenue growth shows that our products and services are in demand and that we can adapt effectively and quickly to market changes. We are managing to succeed in challenging times such as these because we are well positioned with our diversified, international structure, our excellent proximity to our customers and our dedicated employees.

How did the individual product segments fare?

Jan Liebherr: I am happy to say that we achieved increases in revenue in almost every product segment. The only exceptions were in deep foundation machines and tower cranes. Revenue in construction machines and mining rose by 11.6 % overall, while there was an increase of 11.3 % in the other product segments combined.

Compared to 2022, the operating result grew significantly …

Jan Liebherr: The 2022 business year was characterised by high order backlogs and a long order time frame. In this situation, we were faced with considerable price increases for materials and energy. Interrupted and unreliable supply chains also caused us problems. This situation stabilised in 2023. That enabled us to increase revenue significantly with relatively little additional outlay, which led to a much better operating result.

The number of employees in the Group increased again. At the end of 2023, there were 53,659 employees worldwide. Why do people choose to work for Liebherr in particular?

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: We are naturally very glad about this trend as it shows that our Group is an attractive employer. There are many reasons why people decide to pursue a career at Liebherr. First of all, our core values are extremely appealing for many jobseekers. Apart from that, Liebherr’s excellent capacity to innovate certainly attracts talented people who want to work in a future-oriented environment. Our employees also value the freedom we give them to implement their own ideas and be creative. Plus, we provide options for professional development, which offers our employees excellent opportunities for personal and professional growth.

What were your investment priorities in 2023?

Jan Liebherr:We reached a record level of investment in 2023. We invested heavily in modernisation and in expanding our sales and service activities. These decisions are direct consequences of our strategy to secure our technological lead and, at the same time, develop our market reach and customer proximity.

Digitalisation, alternative drives, autonomy and automation have been your priorities in technology in recent years. Has something changed here?

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: These topics were still central last year. We invested heavily in these areas in order to develop technologies that are not only more efficient but also more environmentally friendly. Research and development continued both internally and in collaboration with universities and research institutes. This underlines the importance of these topics for us.

What progress have you made here?

Jan Liebherr: In the area of digitalisation, we continued to develop our digital platforms with the aim of further increasing the efficiency and safety of operating our machines. Concrete examples of this include the integration of the Tower Crane Portal into our MyLiebherr customer portal and the development of useful applications such as MyNotifier, which supplies crane drivers with important operating data.

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: Progress is also being made with autonomy and automation. One example is our work on the automated disassembly of battery systems. This will allow more vehicle batteries to be recycled in the future.

Jan Liebherr: We made remarkable progress in alternative drives, including with the development of machines with electric drives. Our first battery-electric L 507 E wheel loader and the electric material handling machine LH 80 M High Rise Industry are two examples of new innovations. As part of our open-technology approach, we have continued to work with alternative energy sources.

Let’s take a look at the current business year. What are your predictions for 2024?

Jan Liebherr: Although the overall forecasts for the global economy are relatively cautious and the conditions and uncertainties we have mentioned will have an impact, we are confident. A solid order backlog and good demand in many industries give us reason to be optimistic. Due to our high level of diversification and international orientation, we are well placed to absorb declines in individual product segments and countries and maintain our successful course.

Given that you are celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary, what are Liebherr’s goals for the next decades?

Stéfanie Wohlfarth: We will continue to focus on healthy growth as a long-term goal for the years and decades to come. We want to achieve this by attracting people who are enthusiastic about technology and want to responsibly help shape the world of tomorrow and beyond with their ideas.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

This interview was conducted in March 2024.

This may be of interest to you


Despite social and economic challenges, Liebherr remained on course and adaptable throughout 2023. Jan Liebherr and Stéfanie Wohlfarth, as representatives of the family shareholders, expressed their gratitude to the more than 50,000 employees for actively shaping the constant change.

Read editorial


Conexpo in Las Vegas, a record-breaking delivery and new digital solutions: discover the highlights of the year 2023 across all Liebherr product segments.

Read highlights

Development and outlook

In the 2023 fiscal year, Liebherr once again achieved a record revenue with €14,042 million. Compared to the previous year, the Group’s revenue grew by 11.5 %. The number of employees increased by 4.6 % to 53,659.

Read development and outlook