Kone Elevators is an industry-leading company that has been offering superior People Flow solutions for over 100 years.
KONE celebrates today its journey of a century. As an industrial engineering company, the company has been involved in many diverse businesses with primary focus on elevators and escalators.
Incidentally, KONE has been present in Australia since 1889 where they started as the South Sydney Hydraulic Company.
Leading global elevator and escalator company KONE has come a long way over the last 100 years. From its modest beginnings as a tiny machine shop in Helsinki, Finland, it has become a global entity with annual net sales of close to five billion euros, 34,000 employees and operations worldwide.
Matti Alahuhta, President and CEO of KONE Corporation says that KONE has continuously adapted to a changing world, creating new opportunities for growth.
Alahuhta adds that KONE wants to contribute to sustainable urban development with eco-efficient solutions that offer energy savings in buildings and enable the best user experience.
KONE Elevators Australia and New Zealand (KEA) has operated in Australia and New Zealand since 1985. Employing over 1100 people, KONE operates in all states of Australia with 23 branches, and also has 4 offices in New Zealand in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
KONE Elevators Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Robert Cameron confirms that KONE is a global leader in facilitating smooth flow of people and goods throughout buildings. Their commitment is seen and felt in the support provided to customers every step of the way from design, manufacturing and installation to maintenance and modernisation.
KONE began as a machine shop named Tarmo (vigor) in Helsinki. Tarmo’s owners incorporated their business as KONE (machine) Ltd. on October 27, 1910. The tiny machine shop was sold to Strömberg, a producer of electric motors and equipment as well as importer and installer of elevators.
The early 1920s saw KONE turn to producing consumer products such as carbide lamps, coffee mills and blades for ice hockey skates. At the beginning of 1924 KONE became an independent company as Strömberg, amid its financial difficulties sold its shares to the Herlin family. In the following decades cranes and hoists were added to the product line while equipment maintenance and repair became central to business strategy.
KONE’s entry into the global market began with the opening of their new Hyvinkää factory in 1967, equipped for a capacity of 2,000 units per year, double the size of Finland’s total elevator market and far more than KONE’s total annual output at that time.
Ready to become the first Finnish company to truly go global with its operations, the internationalisation breakthrough occurred in 1968 with the acquisition of ASEA’s elevator business. In 1974 KONE acquired Westinghouse’s European elevator business.
The mid-70s saw KONE becoming established as an elevator, crane and conveyor company even as it expanded its operations into various businesses.
KONE divested its crane, wood-handling, cargo access and instrument businesses towards the middle of the 1990s.
The acquisition of Montgomery Elevator Company, the fourth largest elevator company in the United States took place in 1994. KONE would later proceed to buy the remaining shareholding in its escalator partner, Germany’s O&K Rolltreppen.
KONE also expanded its operations in the rapidly growing markets of China, India, Russia and the Middle-East.
In 1996, KONE made a technology breakthrough that would revolutionise the industry by introducing the new EcoDisc hoisting machines and MonoSpace machine roomless elevators.
Since 2005, KONE has outperformed the competition in terms of growth and profit margin improvement.