This month, Wacker Corporation is celebrating its 50th year of business in the United States. German-based Wacker founded its first foreign affiliate in 1957 and today has more than 30 affiliates around the world. What began with only one product and three employees has become an international operation.
In 1957, brothers Peter and Hermann Wacker founded Wacker’s first U.S. affiliate in Hartford, Wisconsin, after recognizing opportunities for growth in the American market. The brothers began by hiring three employees and eventually established local production and an internal sales organization.
They began by marketing just one product: the gasoline rammer invented by Hermann Wacker. This tool allowed workers performing light compaction work to break away from the constraints of a power or compressed-air supply. Soon the gas rammer was a fixture on construction sites.
During the next 50 years, the Wacker Corporation became a leading provider of light equipment in the United States. The original three employees have grown into a workforce of 650. Wacker currently manufactures vibratory rammers, rollers, trash pumps, generators, trowels and other products.
In 2006, Wacker further expanded by obtaining Ground Heaters, an American manufacturer of space and ground heating equipment. The company has plans to construct a new production site for Ground Heaters in Norton Shores, Michigan.
Even with continuing international growth, Wacker stays true to its roots and remains almost fully under family ownership.