The History of Kettler

For over 60 years Kettler has been a leader in bicycles, children’s outdoor toys, and other leisure equipment. Kettler was established 1949 by Heinz Kettler in the town of Ense-Parsit, Germany. Heinz Kettler founded his company in the attic of a wood processing company with just six employees. His first products included aluminum goods such as cooking utensils, bakeware, etc. and in 1960 the first Kettcar was produced. From a small enterprise, Kettler has grown into a world-wide manufacturer, selling in 60 countries with distributors in the U.S., South America, Central America and Canada.

From the beginning Kettler dedicated his company to delivering safe, quality, innovative toys for which Kettler is now known. Kettler’s “Made in Germany” principle ensures that even after 50 years of trading all over the world, Kettler still manufactures products in its very own, state-of-the-art, German manufacturing facilities, using various patented and privately owned features and technologies. Kettler is organized and managed from the head office in Ense-Parsit, where employees develop and produce innovative and high quality products for people of all ages to enjoy.

Kettler controls the quality of their products from start to finish with their own in-house, fully computerized, and high-tech metal preparation process. Kettler products are also created using a 360 degrees consistent welding technology, guaranteeing smooth and durable joints. The metal is then encased it in multistep, lead free and water based powder coat. The result is a five year anti-fade guarantee on the paint.

In the 1970’s Kettler became a “name brand” and introduced a superior range of products to specialty dealers. Kettler’s very own ping pong table was the official table used at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Kettler HKS products, which stands for the “Heinz Kettler Special”, are distinguished by their high quality, technological performance, and environmentally safe materials. The HKS title is only given to their top of the line tricycles. Kettler HKS trikes are no ordinary tricycles. Since its introduction in the U.S. 25 years ago, Kettler sales have rocketed during the past couple of years. The tricycles’ sales, which were growing at a rate of 10% annually five years ago, have more recently moved closer to the 20% range, said national sales manager for Kettler’s U.S.’s toy division, recently to the Wall Street Journal.

In 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported that the upscale tricycles had become a target of thieves in high scaled neighborhoods. A series of robberies took place in the city of Palo Alto, California when a thief stole two trikes from the same neighborhood. The HKS trikes had become part of a growing brand consciousness among parents, raising interest in pricey baby products.

Kettler does not advertise; instead they use what they call a “cul-de-sac” marketing approach, relying on word-of-mouth on driveways and in playgrounds to build brand awareness. However, some of their products are so well-known in Germany the word Kettcar appears in the German dictionary. Kettler’s trikes were once were sold mainly in New York City boutiques and a few catalogs “A Trike with Snob Appeal.” Isegoria (2004). Kettler Tricycles have expanded rapidly and are now sold in many upscale toy dealers in the U.S. as well as Canada, South America, and Central America.

Kettler has been recognized around the world as an icon of safe, innovative, and ergonomically designed products and toys. The “kid-proof” engineering of the Kettler Kettrikes provides the ultimate fun and safety for children! Kettler’s list of most well-known products includes the Kettler tricycles that are of the highest quality and are made from environmentally friendly resources.

After many years, Kettler has continued to surpass all expectations with their commitment to quality, innovation, and above all, safety that go into each item that is produced. The look, feel, and technology of Kettler products are designed to deliver optimal performance and safety.

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