Telling people I was travelling to Sweden with Husqvarna almost always ended in a conversation about just what products made Husqvarna famous or what they made today. After spending time with company executives and visiting both the factory itself and the museum I feel rather qualified to at least help you out with a bit more information about that very question – what products does Husqvarna make?
We asked on Facebook and Twitter just what product came to mind when you heard the brand “Husqvarna” – the results were interesting.
Perhaps because I grew up knowing my mum’s Singer and Bernina sewing machines – I’d actually never heard of a Husqvarna Sewing Machine, yet that was the most popular answer.
Closely followed by the Chainsaw. Personally I own a Husqvarna Mower and whipper snipper (line trimmer/edger whatever you want to call them)
Also mentioned were the Husky motorbikes and one wise reader pointed out the military history of the company.
So, lets set the record straight.
The company started out in 1689 – that’s 325 years ago – making Weapons. That continued for hundreds of years until finally the craftsmen involved in that production were aged and retiring.
But with the industrial revolution creating a factory based company with woodworking and metal works unlike many others, they had the capability to do much more.
The foundry meant they could make things like meat-mincers by the millions.
Sewing Machines of the era used many of the same wood and metal making techniques from the weaponry production lines and were a strong product for Husqvarna.
Bikes, Mopeds and then Motorcycles followed, with a host of home products mixed in between.
The Husqvarna name lives on today in Sewing Machines and Motorbikes, however, Husqvarna do not make them. The brand and logo are licensed to other companies (Singer and KTM respectively) to produce the products we see today as Husqvarna.
It’s an interesting move really, because so many people relate to the brand through those very product lines.
In fact, Husqvarna today make lawn-mowers, hedge trimmers and a range of outdoor power products. They own the Gardena brand which we often think of as hoses and hose fittings, so there’s a whole lot more to the company than meets the eye.
They’ve also moved into the construction industry with heavy duty diamond cutters and core drills etc.
The company’s youngest product, the Chainsaw seems to be a clear focus – particularly in Huskvarna itself where the products are made and assembled.
We’ll take a look at some of the features of the Chainsaws in a future post, including the somewhat controversial move toward battery power.
But, there you have it – Husqvarna, they don’t make Sewing Machines or Motorbikes, but it’s hard to say you were wrong when you said so.
Trevor Long travelled to Huskvarna, Sweden, as a guest of Husqvarna AB