Tradition and innovation
Bathroom quality, ideas, innovations – since 1901
Perfection in form and function – this was, and still is, the Hansgrohe standard. Since 1901, bathroom pioneer Hans Grohe and his descendants have traditionally been one step ahead of their time. Whether this has been inventing the first hand shower (1928) or ringing in a new shower era with Raindance (2003). Even 110 years after the company was founded, meticulous work is still the driving force in this company from the Black Forest. Primarily, of course, this is about offering benefits and an enjoyable experience to you, the customer.
We have compiled information for you on the following topics on our company website.
How clothier Hans Grohe became a pioneer in the sanitation industry – and has been shaping shower culture since 1901.
The Hansgrohe Group company history
Pioneering work in the Black Forest
Master clothier Hans Grohe (1871-1955) was an innovator. In 1899 he moved from Luckenwalde near Berlin to the small Black Forest town of Schiltach. Two years later he turned his back on weaving and established a metal pressing workshop. Hans Grohe had a passion for the element water, and so from 1901 onwards he bravely hedged his bets on the sanitary sector, which was still in its early stages of development. Of course bathrooms in private houses were only just becoming fashionable at that time. He specialised in tin showers, thus laying the foundations for untold success. During the course of the 20th century, Hans Grohe’s small three-man operation in the Kinzigtal valley developed into a global company. Today it is one of the international innovation and market leaders for mixers and showers.
When showering became popular or: a German success story
By the mid-20th century in Germany, for broad segments of the population it was still sheer luxury to have their own bathroom. Hans Grohe considered the shower an affordable alternative to the bath. It was part of the product range in his metal pressing plant from the outset. And in the decades to come he devoted himself passionately and painstakingly to developing his showers further. In doing so he proved that he had a good nose for business – and shaped shower culture far beyond the borders of the Black Forest.
From 1928, Hans Grohe’s hand shower became a convenient alternative to the then customary overhead shower. Hans Grohe became a shower specialist and pioneer for the German sanitary industry. For many decades his craftsmanship and design set the trends. Even as an 82-year-old, this visionary invented something trend-setting: the wall bar, to which the hand shower can be attached at the desired height. Today it is common in bathrooms all over the world – in 1953 it was a stroke of bathroom genius.
Would you like to find out more about the Schiltach think-tank inventions? Here you will find Hansgrohe's innovation history – milestones in craftsmanship.
Like father, like son or: an innovative family
Throughout all its generations, the company has had a true passion for water, the elixir of life. The founder’s youngest son, Klaus Grohe (*1937), has played an active role in his father’s company, from 1968 up to the present day. As a “Green Mind” (Financial Times Deutschland), Klaus Grohe is becoming the sanitary industry’s mentor on issues of environmental protection and sustainability. He promotes water-saving, energy-saving products just as vehemently as he promotes environmental protection and resource conservation in manufacturing. Klaus Grohe has managed the now globally-operating company for 33 years. Since 2008 he has presided over the Hansgrohe SE Supervisory Board.
Please don’t confuse Hansgrohe SE from the Black Forest with Grohe AG from Hemer in Westphalia. Even though both companies are active in the same sector, they have little in common. The competitor has not had a Grohe on board for years.
The situation is very different at Hansgrohe: more than a century after the company was founded, descendants of the South German shower pioneer are still actively contributing to the company’s success. Today, two of Klaus Grohe’s sons are continuing the family tradition: since 2008, Richard Grohe (*1965) has been Deputy Chairman of the Board and has overseen the Hansgrohe brand. His brother Philippe Grohe (*1967) manages the Axor brand.
Today, in addition to the direct descendants and family members of founding father Hans Grohe, the following people govern the destiny of the company: our Supervisory Board and Executive Board.
Today, this bathroom and sanitary specialist employs around 3,500 workers, on every continent. A good two-thirds of these work in Germany. In the small Black Forest town of Schiltach, bathroom history is still being written.
Hansgrohe’s innovative history
Milestones in bathroom history
From the trickle device to digitally controlled XXL showering pleasure: since 1901, inventions from the Black Forest think tank have been shaping the bathroom landscape all around the globe. Lots of products, concepts and solutions developed and designed at Hansgrohe have provided incentives for the international sanitation sector. Some made bathroom history, maybe even cultural history. Such a long and successful history obligates and motivates Hansgrohe to stay ahead of its time.
Tinkering and testing, inspecting and perfecting
Hansgrohe SE can look back on a rich culture of innovation. The bathroom professionals achieve around a third of their total turnover with new products. Development times and innovation cycles are becoming ever quicker: these days it only takes 12 to 18 months from the initial idea to the finished product.
Quality Made in Germany – Quality Made by Hansgrohe
What good products and services mean to us
"Made in Germany" has always been a recipe for success for Hansgrohe. Around 80% of Hansgrohe production takes place in Germany: in six plants in the Black Forest. The mixer and shower manufacturer delivers to around 130 countries on all continents and more than 80 percent of its sales are generated abroad.
Hansgrohe remains devoted to keeping its German location
The question is, why does a company with such a broad international base still produce in Germany – when it would seem to be more cost-effective to produce all over the world? The answer from the Black Forest is: "because we count on German expertise and offer our customers a guarantee of quality".
The focus is on human diligence and on being environmentally friendly.
The company upholds its quality guarantee by means of consistent quality management. For more than 110 years these bathroom professionals from the Black Forest have used only high-quality materials to ensure sustainable production, applied innovative thinking and undertaken research in a future-oriented way – all as a matter of course. Finally, Hansgrohe is totally committed to the health, safety and well-being of its customers and employees.
Made by Hansgrohe stands for:
Optimum production processes or: the zero-error principle
The principle “quality is when the customer comes back and the product doesn’t” has been firmly established by means of process-oriented workflows. Quality management, conducted at close intervals, ensures top product and service quality in all Hansgrohe plants worldwide. Hansgrohe has its system inspected by internationally recognised certification authorities and is certified according to the international quality standard ISO 9001. In order that all branded products are as perfect as they possibly can be, in form and function, Hansgrohe thinks and acts according to the zero-error principle. EVERYONE in the company is responsible for this. All skilled workers, office workers and service staff are therefore given the best possible basic and further training. Here you will find the values and guiding principles of the Hansgrohe Group.
Hidden quality or: our inner values
The quality and design of Hansgrohe branded products are immediately apparent. What is not necessarily apparent at first glance are the “inner values”. Let’s take a look behind the scenes. Find out what constitutes the difference: between one of those cheap products that are flooding the sanitary market – and the sophisticated inner workings of a Hansgrohe product: find out all about innovative technologies.
The Hansgrohe Group – represented on all continents
With 34 companies and 22 sales offices all over the world, Hansgrohe is one of the few global players in the sanitation industry. During the 2014 financial year, the mixer and shower specialist employed around 3,650 people and supplied mixers and showers to 144 countries.
In 2015 the Hansgrohe family will celebrate its 114th birthday. Founder Hans Grohe started out small in 1901, with his metal pressing workshop in the Black Forest. The company headquarters are still located in the adoptive home of “Clever Hans”. But today the brand that he created enjoys a worldwide reputation: Hansgrohe products, with the “Made in Germany” quality requirement, are used around the world.
- the Klaus Grohe family, Schiltach (32 %).
- the American Masco Corporation, Taylor/Michigan (68%).
The Hansgrohe Group pursues five strategic approaches: